Nine out of ten businesses fail within the first five years. This is partially because they don’t take the preliminary steps to set themselves up for success. If you’re thinking about starting a new business, take a look at these five things you should do before launching, in order to increase your chances of growing and becoming successful.
1. Create a Business Plan
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Having a great idea doesn’t ensure success; you need to have a plan to get there. Create a physical plan for your business before you launch, and then put it somewhere so you can refer to it often. Your business plan should include the goals for your business, a timetable for when things should happen, and anything else that will put you on the path to success. There are templates available online to help you get started.
2. Analyze Your Competition
If you’re trying to compete against products and services that already exist, then you should analyze your competition so you can make your products and services better. These days, customers are very savvy about comparing products and prices, so you must have the best products at the best prices to come out on top. You should also make your products and services as unique as possible so that your business stands out to potential customers.
3. Get Your Finances in Order
Lack of finances are the biggest reason why businesses fail. You can’t just start spending money as soon as you launch your business — you need to take things slow and carefully manage everything. Start by creating a budget that includes everything from employee wages, rent, and utilities, to advertising and emergency money. Then stick to it! Don’t hire more employees than you can afford and don’t spend too much money on improving the appearance of your store until you build a loyal customer base. Also, you should use a tool like CreditSignal® by Dun and Bradstreet Credibility Corp. to monitor your business credit score.
4. Register your Business and Get the Proper Licenses and Permits
If you neglect to get the proper licenses and permits in your area, you could face fees later and you could possibly even experience a lawsuit. That’s why you should be sure to get the proper business licenses, and find out all the various permits you will need to operate. For instance, it’s illegal to be a street vendor without a permit, or without permission from the land owner where you’re stationed. At the most basic level, of course, you should register your business, but be aware that many more permits and licenses could apply to your particular type of business.
5. Create a Plan for Advertising and Promotions
If you want your business to be successful, you need to be able to attract new customers. So, you should create an advertising plan before you launch your business. The more detailed the better, but you should at least research how much it costs to advertise in your local newspaper and online, and build money into your budget to account for it.
These are just a few of the preliminary steps you should take before launching a business. The more research and planning you do, the better chance your business has for success. You’re more likely to succeed if you start out on track.