Coming up with a successful small business idea can be as simple as identifying a gap in the market in your local area and finding a solution to the issue. However, nine out of ten small businesses currently fail within their first year of trading, and there’s a reason why. There are many things that can contribute to a company’s downfall, so making sure that you are prepared for anything that might go amiss can help you make sure that your new brand doesn’t simply become another statistic. We’ve put together four essentials that new business owners often forget, to help you make sure that you don’t.
#1. Liability Insurance:
Getting your business covered by insurance is an absolute essential that you might not have yet considered. Being insured is essential in the event of a claim against your business for bodily harm, associated medical costs, or damage to property from another business or individual. Even if you’re trading online, general liability insurance will protect your brand in the event of a claim relating to a product or service sold online; it’s not just for companies that work face-to-face with the general public.
It may be a good idea to consult an insurance broker, or even speak to a commercial lawyer in regard to your company’s need for insurance. An expert will be able to go through the specifics of your brand and business, using the details that you provide them, to help you get a better understanding of what your company needs to be fully protected. In many cases, covering your business with general or public liability insurance will be a legal requirement and you could find yourself in serious trouble for not adhering to this.
#2. Establish a Strong Support Team:
When it comes to starting a business, be aware that it’s almost impossible to do it all by yourself. Even if it’s easy to go it alone in the beginning, bear in mind that as your business begins to grow and meet the goals that you have set out for it, you will need to have a solid support network around you to help you keep on top of growing demand. The people that you turn to for support don’t necessarily have to be business partners or even play a huge part in your new venture. Friends, family members, peers, and mentors can offer a huge amount of support and give you somebody to fall back on in a time of crisis.
Along with the people closest to you, there’s a lot to be said for making strong connections in your industry too. Taking the time to attend business conferences, networking events, trade shows, and other relevant meet-ups and events in your industry will help you put both yourself and your brand in front of people who have the potential to be hugely influential in your new venture. Like-minded entrepreneurs, experienced business owners, investors, and industry experts can all provide advice, support, information and help when needed, but it’s vital to spend time building and nurturing this network first.
#3. Streamline Admin Management:
Looking after the administration side of your business can quickly become a confusing, messy process if you don’t simplify and streamline it from the beginning. Before you begin, take the time to research different tools and software programs that you can use for managing admin tasks such as accounting and payroll. If you’re not in a position to hire somebody or outsource this work to an external company or freelancer, there are several DIY tools that are designed for anybody to use, even if you have little to no prior experience in these fields. Getting set up as early as possible will ensure that you don’t run into avoidable difficulties down the line.
#4. Focus on the Market:
Last but not least, one of the biggest mistakes that new small business owners make when starting out is focusing too heavily on the product and forgetting to focus on the market as a result. Relying too much on their product or service to drive sales usually means that they are failing to take into consideration the market that they are entering.
To be successful, small businesses today should focus on providing a product that people are going to be willing to buy. Bear in mind that whilst you could come up with the most revolutionary product in the world, it’ll be impossible to get anywhere if there is no market for it. In fact, getting a tiny market share is always a better option than trying to invest your money, time, and effort into a market that does not exist. Focus on niches and look for gaps in markets that you can provide a solution to.
These are just some of the biggest factors that small business owners forget about when starting out. Keep these in mind to improve your chance of success.