Statistics suggest that only 25% of new businesses last for over 15 years. With more and more ambitious entrepreneurs choosing to launch start-ups, it’s crucial to be aware of the risks and to take proactive steps to steer clear of trouble.
Here are some top tips for budding business gurus!
#1: Research the Market
One of the most significant risks linked to launching a start-up is spending money on a venture that has little chance of succeeding due to a lack of demand or a saturated marketplace. Before you invest time and money into a business idea, carry out research to learn more about the market.
Identify competitors, analyze and evaluate sales figures and gauge the level of demand. Define an ideal customer and use surveys, social media polls, and focus groups to gather relevant information about the target audience.
If the demand for the services or products you plan to sell is dropping, or there are already companies that have established, loyal client bases, it may be wise to think twice about proceeding.
#2: Invest In Insurance
Every business owner should have insurance to protect the company and minimize disruption and financial risks in the event of incidents, such as theft, fire, or damage caused to physical premises by extreme weather.
Depending on the type of business you run, you may also need to invest in public liability insurance and specialist industry-specific plans. Check the details of your policies and consider switching to a new provider if your policy is due for renewal and you can find better deals.
It’s beneficial to opt for the most comprehensive policies you can afford.
#3: Manage Your Finances
Make sure every expense is included when you calculate the cost of getting the business off the ground and use a budget to monitor and track spending. Set payment deadlines and ensure that customers and clients know how and when to pay.
Send out reminders before the deadline! Also, make sure customers have access to live chat or telephone lines if they have queries. If you don’t have experience in managing accounts, it may be worth considering outsourcing or hiring employees with the relevant expertise on a part-time basis.
#4: Be Choosy With Potenital Business Partners
Many entrepreneurs work with other businesses and partners and they depend on companies to deliver products and services seamlessly. If you are doing a deal with a business, or you are thinking about outsourcing, it’s hugely beneficial to research different businesses before you make a decision and check their credentials.
You can find the LEI (Legal Entity Identifier) to gather information about where the company is from to enhance safety. It’s also a good idea to read reviews and testimonials and to check the firm’s track record. Make sure you partner with or hire reputable, trustworthy agencies or companies.
#5: Prioritize Customer Service and Care
More than 90% of consumers check online reviews before contacting a business or buying a product. Almost 70% will switch to a different brand if they experience poor customer service. As an entrepreneur, you can protect your reputation and reduce the risk of receiving negative attention by prioritizing customer service and support.
Make sure you can deliver on the promises you make, reward customer loyalty, and provide access to support options. If you have a website, live chat is a brilliant addition! It enables customers to ask questions or seek advice instantly.
It’s also important to make your clients feel valued. If they have a positive experience, they will be more likely to leave a glowing review.
#6: Understand All Legal Requirements
Running a business involves complying with rules and regulations. This is important to minimize risks, avoid penalties, and negative press. Ensure that you are aware of legal restrictions and requirements and that you adhere to the latest guidelines.
There are rules governing everything from employee and customer rights to health and safety and public liability.
Cybercrime is a growing threat. It’s understandable to assume that hackers only target high-profile brands because those are the stories that make the headlines. The reality is that small and medium-sized businesses are the most common targets. Ensure that you have policies and procedures in place to protect customer data and restrict access to systems, devices, and networks.
Running a business involves overcoming hurdles and trying to swerve potential icebergs. If you’ve recently launched a start-up it’s essential to be aware of risks! Take these tips and try to keep your business safe.