While some statistics are relatively mundane, there are others that are truly staggering.
Take the fact that an estimated 96% of businesses fail during their first 10 years, which is an incredible ratio that highlights the challenging nature of entrepreneurship even in the digital age.
With this in mind, it is imperative that you take a proactive approach and seek out competitive advantages for your start-up, affording it the best possible chance of success in the process. Here are some steps to help you achieve this, regardless of your chosen marketplace:
- Consider Partnering with a Mentor
Knowledge remains one of your most important weapons in the quest to launch a successful business, although it is also crucial to bridge the gap between theory and practice in the commercial world.
Partnering with a mentor can help you to achieve both of these objectives in one fell swoop, however, as this affords you access to an experienced and successful individual who can translate relevant business knowledge into actionable lessons.
The key is to find suitable mentors who have experience within your chosen market, preferably those who understand the challenges of building a brand in the digital age.
Many will also be established as influencers within their industry of choice and remain extremely active social media, so strive to the search facilities on LinkedIn and Twitter to build relationships with potential mentors. You should also strive to build a network of peers who are active in your sector, as this may help you to indirectly locate people of interest.
- Reduce Costs With an Agile Business Model
In practical terms, one of the most troubling challenges facing start-up is cost control. A failure to effectively manage operational costs and optimise profitability is also one of the main reasons why so many ventures fail over the course of a decade, so reducing your expenditure from the outset can ultimately help you to succeed.
One of the best ways to achieve this is to create an agile business model, and one that embraces flexible (and in some instances temporary) solutions to commercial challenges.
You could hire remote workers according to the needs of each individual project, for example, while maintaining a core team of permanent staff to handle strategic business elements. This reduces your annual cost base, while maximising the profitability of your workforce.
Similarly, you may want to invest in temporary or pop-up retail space in order to expand or trial new products, as this enables you to grow tentatively in line with demand.
- Strive to Leverage Your Natural Advantages as a Start-up
Interestingly, agility also represents one of the natural advantages that start-ups have over larger (and more rigid) corporations. It is by no means the only one, however, and it is important that your new venture looks to leverage these wherever possible.
These include enhanced team chemistry and engagement levels, along with the ability to offer competitive pricing as a response to maintaining minimal overheads.
Smaller businesses and start-ups also benefit from informal processes and more adaptable ways of working. This can increase the speed and efficiency of decision making, while also ensuring that your business is well-placed to quickly adapt strategies and capitalise on new market opportunities.
So there you have it; three actionable ways in which you can afford your new business start-up every possible chance of success. Over time, this means that you may be one of the lucky 4% that creates a profitable and sustainable venture that stands the test of time.