According to the best available estimates, around 100 million new businesses start up every year around the world. If you are among the entrepreneurs launching a new enterprise, you have probably heard all sorts of horror stories that 80%, 85% or even 90% of new startups will fail in the first 18 months. Dig a little past the hyperbole, however, and perhaps the situation is not quite so grim.

Figures from the ‘Office of National Statistics’ and the ‘US Department of Labor’ put survival rates after five years closer to 45% and 50% in the UK and USA respectively. Less grim than some media reports, but still indicative that survival is at the flip of a coin. Clearly any new enterprise needs all the help it can get to survive, and advice from professional organisations such as Corporate Business Solutions and tips regarding business systems can offer a genuinely competitive edge. Let’s take a look at three golden rules for survival.

Have a Plan

If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail. So said Benjamin Franklin, and almost 300 years later, the advice still rings true. A solid business plan is not just for seducing banks into financing your business, it also focuses your mind on where the business will go and how it will get there. Start Smarter has experience creating affordable yet thorough business plans for your business idea, so drop us an email for your personalised quote.
Be as pragmatic as possible when it comes to the financial projections, so that you can make sure you are armed with a viable strategy for success.

Watch the Finances

It might sound crazy, but you would be amazed how many businesses go under because nobody is watching the basics of cash flow and expenditure. We all know it is important, but as an entrepreneur trying to drive your new business to success, it is easy to get so wrapped up in business development, strategy and customer relationship management that you don’t have time to sit looking at the numbers.
If that sounds like you, admit it and either invest in a finance manager or outsource to your local accountancy firm. It is one expense that you cannot afford to skimp on.

Look after yourself

Building a new business from scratch needs dedication and long hours, we all know that. But take a little time out for yourself too. Eat, sleep, relax and switch the phone off occasionally. If your business really can’t survive without you, then the most sure fire way of driving it into the ground is by overdoing it and either giving yourself a breakdown or making poor judgements.

Don’t kid yourself

When it comes down to it, there is a theme that runs through all three of the above rules. And that is to make sure you periodically take a step back and look at what you and your business are doing from the perspective of an impartial observer. If  you are honest with yourself and not afraid to ask for help, your business stands a great chance of being better and stronger in five years time and beyond.
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