OVERCOMING THE ODDS OF BUSINESS FAILURE

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Startup statistics make for uneasy reading.

According to the figures highlighted at Smallbiztrends, just more than half of new startups survive into their fourth year. And if we are to believe the stats, 20% of new businesses fail to move past their first year.  

Should you be a new startup owner yourself, you might have worries about your own future in business. Could you become another failed statistic?

It's a difficult question to answer, as it's impossible to see into the future (unless you have access to a time machine). However, there are ways to overcome the odds of business failure, so the onus is on you to work hard to ensure your chances of success.

Here are some of the things you need to do.

Research your competition

Your rivals are your biggest threat in business, as they could snatch your customers away from you if they have more to offer than you do.

You need to find out who your rivals are - a quick Google search will usually suffice - and you should then visit their websites to find out exactly what they are offering potential customers. You then need to do two things.

First, ensure your product or service is markedly different to what your rivals are offering. If you can find your own niche, you have a greater chance of success.

Secondly, and especially if finding your own niche is difficult, take steps to beat your rivals. So, you might offer fairer pricing and deliver a better product, as just two obvious examples.

By taking these steps, the odds might be in your favor.

Build your reputation

The more positivity your business accrues, the better.

When you have customers on your side, encourage them to post good word about your business on social media and review sites.

Find ways to push your business into the eyes of the media, perhaps by doing something charitable or by taking steps to green up your business.

Build a business based on excellence, as by offering superior customer service and by delivering a fantastic product, good word will quickly get around without you trying to instigate it.

And take steps to avoid a bad reputation.

So, if you do make a mistake, you should quickly make amends to offended parties, as this might stop negative word getting around about your business.

You should also secure your business to reduce the risk of any reputation-destroying data-breaches. You can do this by building your online defenses with antivirus software and firewalls, and perhaps taking added steps to improve security with the powerful cybersecurity functionalities provided by Microsoft Cloud Services and other cloud-based solutions.

When your business conveys the right impression to your customers, you will improve your chances of success.

Be financially responsible

A lack of funds is often cited as the biggest reason behind business failure, so take care of the money in your possession. 

There are all kinds of ways to save money in business, so follow the linked examples to improve your financial situation. 

Be sure to apportion part of your profits into an emergency fund too; as should disaster ever hit your business, you will be less likely to encounter failure as a result.

And despite the expense, consider the services of an accountant. With advice on budgeting and tax issues, you will have somebody at your side to help you make sensible financial decisions. 

Finally

Be positive about your business chances.

20% of startups do fail in the first year, but 80% don't. And while a lot of new businesses fail to make it past their fourth year, many still do.

Follow our suggestions then, work hard to make your business succeed, and to quote the Hunger Games movies…

May the odds be forever in your favor!