90 percent of Americans want to be their own boss. This is another way of saying they want to become business owners.
Starting your own business is an ideal way to become a boss, but for how much longer will you remain your own boss? Small businesses in the U.S. have a high failure rate, with about 50 percent collapsing within five years.
You don’t want your business to fail, but do you have what it takes to ensure it does? Can you really excel in the ultra-competitive field of business and entrepreneurship?
If you need insider tips and secrets on how to be successful, you’re in the right place. Dive in!
Take Some Entrepreneurship Classes
People go to school to study medicine, law, engineering, plumbing, teaching…you name it. Almost every occupation requires some form of professional training. But when it comes to entrepreneurship, it’s not uncommon to find people starting businesses without having any formal training.
Yes, there are many successful business owners who haven’t stepped into any business class, but that doesn’t mean you should bank on your luck and follow the same path. A business, however small, has many functions that require some level of expertise.
As such, if you want to substantially improve your chances of excelling at business and entrepreneurship, it’s prudent to take at least a few entrepreneurship classes.
You don’t have to go to business school and pursue a degree – although it would be of great help if you did that. There are several free or low-cost online courses that will give you adequate preparation for life in the tough world of entrepreneurship.
The point is to ensure you aren’t starting a business without a foundational knowledge of developing, organizing, and running an enterprise.
Have a Viable Business Idea
A major reason many small businesses fail is a lack of market demand. If you’re selling a product or service that doesn’t have any customers, there won’t be any sales revenue.
It’s for this reason having a commercially viable idea before starting a business is an effective way to become successful. But how can you tell that an idea is viable?
The answer is simple. Market research.
You might have a product idea that you think will create a storm in the market. However, if you haven’t gathered feedback from real consumers, you’re being overconfident. Bringing such a product to market is a sure way to fail.
Hire a market research marketing firm to test the viability of your ideas. If you’re on a tight budget, distribute the product prototype to some of your friends and relatives and ask them for their opinion.
Either way, don’t proceed to launch a business if research is telling you there isn’t a strong demand for your product. It’s better to go back to the drawing board and generate new ideas than risk starting a business that will inevitably fail.
Don’t Run Out of Capital
You’ve managed to establish a business. Congratulations!
Now you need to turn it into a profitable business. This is the hallmark of excellence in business and entrepreneurship.
Unfortunately, it turns out that setting up an enterprise is the easy part. The hard part is making it sustainably profitable.
A common downfall for business owners at this stage is capital. Of all the small businesses that die, a whopping 82 percent attribute their failure to cash flow challenges.
Entrepreneurs often underestimate how long their new businesses will take to start generating sustainable revenues. If its expenses outweigh the revenues, it’s only a matter of time before a cash crunch occurs.
A cash crunch is a make-or-break moment for many businesses. You have to raise more capital to keep the lights on or face imminent collapse. Raising capital is possible, but you might end up getting expensive debt that will gradually cripple your business.
It’s crucial to ensure your young business doesn’t run out of capital. Before launching a business, raise all the capital you need instead of starting with little capital and hoping that the business will become profitable quickly.
If possible, strike relationships with your banks and gain access to credit lines. Being able to find capital on short notice can be a life-saving move for a cash-strapped business.
Get a Mentor
The world of business can be lonely, particularly when things aren’t looking up for your enterprise. It’s understandable if this is the time you want to be left alone so you can find solutions that work for your business, but more often than not, it’s better to reach out for help.
Getting a mentor is a proven way to find business success. Several experienced entrepreneurs offer mentorship programs to young and first-time business owners. Signing up for such programs enables you to access professional advice that can help turn your business around.
In addition to having a mentor, or as an alternative, you can hire a small business consultant. These professionals are expert problem-solvers who can help unlock your business’s maximum potential.
It also helps to read up on some success stories of entrepreneurs in your industry. For example, this Women on Amazon resource is excellent for entrepreneurs who’re running an online business.
Don’t Be a Quitter
Not to sound like a broken record, but entrepreneurship is hard. It has crushed the dreams of so many people, but what makes the difference between success and failure is whether or not you quit after failing.
The most successful business owners aren’t quitters. They probably have a couple of failed businesses under their belt, but they didn’t give up.
Your first, second, and even third businesses may fail. That’s not the end. Dust yourself and start all over again!
You Too Can Succeed in Business and Entrepreneurship
Venturing into business and entrepreneurship is the ultimate dream for most working-class Americans. It’s a tough environment, but people have excelled in it. You can, too.
There’s a lot that goes into becoming a successful business owner. Our little secrets will play a big role in helping you find that success.
Be sure to keep learning about business on our blog!