It is a very sad reality that over 50%
of small businesses fail in the first five years of opening. Even if your
business has been operating for longer than five years, it can all too easily
fall into the traps that cause eventual closure. However, this does not need to
be the case. Adopting the right mindset and practices will enable you to
safeguard and protect your business against potential failure. Read on for some
tips on how to achieve and maintain success.
Conduct a Review of Your Business Operations
If you believe that your business is in danger then one of the first steps that you will need to take is to conduct an internal review. Many business owners find it useful to conduct a SWOT analysis test, as this provides useful information about what is working well and what processes are draining your business resources.
The term “SWOT” stands for strengths,
weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This analysis test encourages business
owners to review their operations and put processes into one of the four
categories, as follows:
1. Strengths: Your
strengths are the processes that are working well and that should be
2. Weaknesses: These are
the operations that are damaging your business and that require immediate
3. Opportunities: Opportunities
are valuable external prospects that your business should look to capitalize
4. Threats: Threats
are prospects that could put your business in danger; you will need to create
an action plan in order to limit the potential dangers.
Review Your Business Finances
Problems with finances and poor financial management are the main causes of small-business failures and are the cause of over 50% of failed businesses over the past five years. If your business is under threat then it is vital that you review your business finances as soon as possible.
Begin your review by gaining a clear
understanding of your financial health. Work out how much money you owe, what
capital you have, and what your incoming and outgoing expenditures are. Reviewing
your current financial position will enable you to understand exactly what you
are working with. This means that you can begin to pay off debts or start looking
for a start up business loan to get
you through the coming months.
Once you have understood how you will
get your business out of immediate danger then you can begin planning for the
future. You should look to create a strategy that increases the financial
health of your business. Try to forecast the cash flow and project your
expected sales and expenditures to ensure you are working in a realistic model.
Start to adopt practices that will enable you to better manage your finances in the future. This might mean using financial management software to stay up to date with your incoming and outgoing cash flow.
Think About the Future
Thinking about and planning for the
future is critical, as this is the only way in which you can ensure that your
small business is able to survive. Thinking about the future involves more than
creating an aim and sticking to this goal blindly. Thinking about the future
should be an almost constant process that involves researching your competitors
and market and the way that both of these are evolving.
With an understanding of what is
happening around you, it is time to consider where your business will be in the
future. Of course, you will need to have a growth plan that outlines your long-term
business aims, but more importantly, you need to create strategies that outline
how you intend to achieve these aims. These strategies might include marketing
campaigns to attract new customers, product expansion, and operational
increases. Staying up to date with industry news and developments will enable
you to update your growth strategies as the market evolves.