According to the Small Business Administration, approximately 543,000 new small businesses start each month (6.5 million each year), of which 50% will survive at least 5 years. So, what sets the survivors apart from those that fail? It may be simpler than you think.
As a coach working with hundreds of energetic, committed, smart business owners, I’ve learned a thing or two about running a business and what sets the successful ones apart from those that find success eludes them. There are no secret formulas or success fairies . . . it all comes down to five factors. So, if you are about to launch a new business, or if you are a business owner that is struggling to get all you want from your business, you can start by reviewing these five critical factors below and identifying any changes you can make to improve your odds.
There are 5 Factors that Contribute to Your Small Business Success
- Desire to own a business and ongoing commitment to do what is necessary
- Aligning the plan and the business with your life priorities and values
- A dynamic strategic action plan
- The right team – professionals, peers, partners, staff
- The right product, at the right price, in the right market
Let’s start with the first factor . . . desire to be a small business owner.
Do you want it?
Do you really want it?
If you are not sure, now is the time to address these questions.
It Starts With Your Desire
Small business ownership should bring not only an income that meets your needs but joy, personal satisfaction, and a lifestyle you want most. It can be the answer to your personal and professional dreams, but that does not mean it is easy. The return you most want from small business ownership starts with desire. You cannot force desire. You either have it or you do not. Think about it . . . how much do you want it? Got it? Then, let’s look at the second factor.
Aligning Your Plan with Your Life Priorities is the Key to Joy and Satisfaction
You are the only one that knows what you truly want and need in your life. Your priorities are often referred to as your “values.” They are what you want and need to be “happy”. For some that is money and for others time . . . whatever it is for you, these priorities must be considered in your business plans.
Planning is Critical
Planning is the most commonly overlooked business success component. It is essential but does not have to be complicated or overly time consuming. Follow a strategic thinking method. Identify what you want, where you are now and what you have to work with, how you will measure your success, strategy that will close the gap between where you are and what you want, and a clearly defined action plan with dates and deadlines.
The Right Team Shortens the Journey to Success
Owning your own business can be isolating. Often you feel you are in this alone with no one to help you reach your goals and dreams, and no one that understands your challenges. It does not have to be that way and should not. Select a team of professionals to act as resources (attorney, insurance agent, human resources professional, accountant), identify peers who can be your “board of support”, and hire the right staff.
The Right Product, the Right price, and the Right Market are a Must
There is no market for lawn furniture in the North Pole, a limited market for acne medication with the elderly, and no competition for white sneakers in a pig farming community. Pick your market carefully. Do your market research. Confirm that the market wants what you have to offer and will pay a price you know you are worth.
Owning a small business is not for everyone. It’s perfect for me and I hope it is for you! If you are not sure, checking your facts against the list above will give you a good start on your assessment.
Sherry Jordan is a small business consultant who has spent the past 15 years working with business owners to create a successful business while living a lifestyle they love. Her new book, Plan It! Do It! Love It! Be Outrageously Successful Living the Small Business Lifestyle, shares an arsenal of strategic advice on how to plan and execute a successful business strategy without sacrificing joy and fulfillment of a rich personal life.