If you’ve decided to make the entrepreneurial leap of a lifetime and become the latest small business start-up, then congratulations on your new and exciting adventure.
So let’s take a quick look at the stats: the Australian Bureau of Statistics reports that the number of successful businesses is actually on the rise in 2016, which is great news. But the ABS also reports that over 60% of all small business start-ups fail within the first three years.
There are a number of reasons for those failures, but many of them simply tried to climb a very long ladder too many steps at a time – and missed many of the most important steps altogether.
So to survive as a start-up, you need to plan, prepare and then execute well. Here are four steps to start-up success that are a great place to begin:
It sounds simple, and even unproductive, but shyness has no place when going into business. Some entrepreneurs may fear having their great idea stolen, or avoid being talked out of their dream adventure, but failing to talk to potential customers, professional advisors and experts, investors and anyone else on the way is one of the biggest initial mistakes you can make.
2. Arm yourself with people
Another step you simply can’t skip is to arm yourself with great people. While going it alone can be tempting for cost reasons and simplicity, the more hands and brains there are on deck, the better. Starting up a business is complex, it’s hard work, and it requires a range of skills and strengths.
3. Have enough money
It’s simply a reality that step #2 depends on step #3. So while an early entrepreneur is likely to be on a tight budget, it is important that you at least have some money behind you – and then realise that it still won’t be enough! Profit may come eventually but losses may precede it, and in between all of that, cash flow is king!
4. Keep taking those steps, one by one
As momentum builds, you might be tempted to speed up the process of business growth – but a great captain runs a steady ship. If you read about the most successful start-ups, they got there because they grew whilst accumulating resources, gathering years of experience, and building a solid reputation in their industry. And none of that happens overnight, as these 26 successful Australian entrepreneurs will tell you.
Of course, there are many more crucial and handy steps on the road to success for every start-up, so we’d love to hear any of your ideas or advice in the comments.