Small business in the United States is booming, with 28.8 million small businesses and counting in operation. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, a business is considered a small business if there are fewer than 500 employees. These types of businesses account for 99.7% of all business in the United States! Though small in size, small businesses make a big impact on economic growth — especially during the years following the Great Recession.
Whether you’re thinking about starting a new business or you already started your venture, you’re probably most concerned with your own economic uncertainty. If questions like ‘What happens if I fail?’ are keeping you up at night, you’re not alone. The National Association of Small Businesses surveyed small business owners in 2015 to see what their biggest challenge was and financial uncertainty took the number one spot. So, how can you do the most you can to ensure a successful future?
Figure out how much money you’ll need
It can be tempting to blindly jump ahead with your ideas, and while trusting your gut instincts is a valuable skill for succeeding in business, relying too much on your heart is a recipe for failure. It may feel like a downer, but you should always consider the worst case scenario and prepare for that. How much money would you need to feel comfortable if the business fails? And, how do you define failure?
Sometimes it can be difficult to see your own needs impartially. In that case, you should consider hiring a small business accountant. In addition to your tax-related needs, they will help prepare business strategies and budgets. For businesses owned and operated in Colorado, the experts at Denver Tax Advisor are well-versed in setting businesses up for success.
Create and track company goals
Without goals it’s hard to know what the benchmarks for success look like and understand how well you’re doing. Achieving small accomplishments every day feels much more manageable than a lingering to do list, so break down your short-term and long-term goals into action-oriented tasks.
Once you’ve set goals, track them consistently. At the very least you should review larger company goals and finances quarterly. It’s important to commit — and recommit — to goals, even though sometimes you may need to pivot to find success.
Rely on your support system
In the beginning, you’ll be doing a lot of the work on your own, but that doesn’t mean you need to isolate yourself. Surround yourself with people you can trust in both your personal and professional world. Personally, having friends and family support you can mean the world, and equally, spending time with them can help you recharge. Professionally, your business partner(s), staff, and accountant are all there to provide help, so use it. Don’t let yourself become a martyr for the business.
Embrace the journey
As with any business, there will be ups and downs. What matters is how you react to those ups and downs. While you should always strive to improve, don’t be afraid to recognize your imperfections. If you waited until everything was perfect, you would never start. Just don’t be too hard on yourself. Celebrate your successes when they come!
Look ahead toward the future
Running a successful business is all about balancing the day-to-day grind and long-term sustainability. The best way to balance the two is to check in on those goals you set, and continue to modify your company’s goals as time goes on. You’ll only gain more insight into your industry, as well as owning your own business, with time. Also, planning for an exit-strategy is important, as it will shape how you build the company. Do you want to remain personally involved in the day-to-day operations or are you looking to build the company to sell? Being honest with yourself and your intentions up front will only help you and your company in the long-run.