Pretty much everyone around us today has an idea for a business. But only a few have it in them to convert it into reality. Other than courage, there are a few ground realities that have to be faced and some critical issues that need to be addressed. And unless you have answered these five questions, you cannot take the big plunge.
- What - What is your idea for a business? Everything begins here. You should be convinced and confident about the idea for your business before you present it to the market.
- Why - Why do you think your idea will succeed? Is your idea saleable? Is there a demand in the market for it? Is it feasible and sustainable? Answer these sincerely.
- How - How do you plan to work on your idea? Planning, organizing, procuring finances, marketing, etc. are the first steps for your business.
- Where - Online or offline? Local, regional, or global? You need a place, whether virtual or real, for your business. Where you have your setup is important. You have to be accessible and visible to your customers
- When - And finally, when do you want to start it? Ideally, it’s when you have the answers to the first four questions. And when you are ready to face the harsh realities of business.
Is that enough?
Every small business owner, in all certainty, has addressed these issues. And you may have survived so far. But is that enough? Will that keep you afloat for the foreseeable future? In spite of so many new businesses coming up every year, the Small Business Association highlights that only half of them survive for more than five years. 42% of the businesses fail because they miscalculate the market need for their product. 60% of the same is not able to cope up with the overheads.
The figures are scary but true. Every idea is prone to failure if not nurtured carefully. Even if the basic fundamentals of running a business stay the same, the volatile dynamics of the market make it imperative to make some additions to the core plan.
The ever-changing business environment demands new strategies. Experts believe that other than the five fundamental questions, business owners should also incorporate some new elements in their strategies.
- Technology - Investment in technology is the best decision you can take for your business. The return on this investment is long-term. Get technology to do the mundane chores for you, like payroll management, cash management, inventory management, etc. while you focus more on the core functions. Technology can also give you some important insights about business analytics and business projections.
- People - Nothing can substitute good talent in your business. Do not try to do everything yourself. Delegate the routine functions and have experts from different domains bring in their inputs for your business. People are assets for your business, and, therefore, invest wisely in these assets to reap benefits in the long-run.
- Processes - No matter how small, it pays to have a process in place for everything. Standardized processes become the map work as your business scales up. Get your workforce accustomed to these processes. This way, any deviation will be noticed immediately. Having processes in place also ensures that your product or service is delivered as desired every single time.
- New age marketing - Gone are the days when flyers and hoardings were a thing. Look for innovative ideas that reach out to the new generation of customers. The customers today have a shorter attention span and way too many options to choose from. So, getting customers’ attention and retaining it to get repeat business is a challenge. Invest time, effort, and resources to finding new ways to connect with the customers.
- Be cost-conscious - 82% of the businesses fail because of cash flow problems and their inability to source finances. Not only the amount but also when the cash is coming in makes a lot of difference. Take efforts to ensure that our pending invoices are paid at regular intervals to maintain steady cash flow. Small business finance offered by banks and financial firms seem attractive, but they come at a cost and an interest. No business can survive without cash, but from where and how that cash is sourced is the key. Be conscious about the cash you infuse and the costs you incur.
- Online presence - Not having an online presence could be your biggest mistake. From visibility to business leads, online presence gives you an added advantage. Even if you have a physical store to sell your products, your customers may search for it on the internet. You can choose from an active website or just a social media presence on the basis of your business. Be responsive to customer enquiries or feedback and set yourself apart.
- Thinking beyond the profits - The utmost objective of every business is to make profits. And that is not wrong. But customers today are looking for brands who think beyond profits. How they make a difference in society and contribute to social causes is also important today. Create a sustainable action plan that emphasizes not only on ethics and integrity but also on social responsibility.
Next Good Thing is here
You took that first step to materialize your business idea. You have put in your efforts and resources to keep it away from failing. The next step you should take is to take it to the next level using cloud-based erp software. New and established businesses are both looking to incorporate the new rules of business, knowing very well that not doing so could be suicidal.
Foraying into unknown territory can be frightening. You are used to your conventional ways of business, and they may have helped you stay float so far. But what next? Business dynamics are changing, and so are the ways of carrying out business. The next good thing that you were waiting for your business to happen is here. You just have to look for them and adapt.