Thursday, October 14, 2021 / 12:47 PM /Josephine
Eriyo for WebTV / Header Image Credit: Forbes
Getting a lift on a business start-up has become
increasingly difficult. Despite a slew of digital platforms that provide access
to wider audiences, success is less about knowledge of the existence of these
media than it is about the use of these platforms.
The digital age has opened millennials (between 25 and
35) to a world paint-brushed with new possibilities and opportunities in
cyberspace. Social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and TikTok, are constantly bringing
about features that help people and businesses deepen and broaden their
engagements. Millennials have increasingly begun to pivot away from paid
employment to entrepreneurship by starting their own businesses.
Although the personal business bug has bitten deeper,
there has also been a rise in the global percentage of failed start-ups.
Figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show that approximately
20% of new businesses fail during the first two years, 45% during the first
five years, and 65% during the first 10 years. Only 25% of new businesses make
it to 15 years or more.
So, where is the problem? Business education. Most
entrepreneurs do not understand the delicate craft of governing an enterprise.
Learning how to run a business is critical to the growth and sustainability of
the venture. As a millennial looking to start a business, a primary focus
should be getting correct data, using adequate and credible information, and
acquiring the appropriate knowledge to foster the growth of the business. Not
understanding the scope of a business is preparedness to fail, even before the
enterprise takes off. Although failure at a business is not the most terrible
thing that could happen, millennials need to navigate around a potential fall.
Thanks to an expanding digital ecosystem, businesses
now have access to an extensive pool of knowledge – whether it is their
understanding of customers’ needs and the business environment or the skills
and experience of staff. The way a business gathers, shares and exploits this
knowledge can be central to its ability to thrive.
Here are five ways to avoid failing at a start-up
- Investigate the
Market: Imagine having a dream to start up a fashion
business, and finally raising capital for it; and you get so excited that
your zeal to open a business blinds you to the fact that there would be
problems in importing fabrics to make quality designs, and there could be
delays in delivery time due to the long-distance, which cause you to have
a lousy brand behaviour from the onset. Investigating the market is one
critical step that a potential business owner should not miss as they
attempt to set up shop.
- Have a Good Business Plan: A solid and realistic business
plan is key to having a successful business. You need to outline
achievable goals for your business, how your business can achieve these
goals, and possible problems you could face and solutions. Once you have
this plan, you must follow through with it; except you have found
inaccuracy; then, find out what’s wrong with it, fix it, and follow a new
plan rather than change how you do business based on quick observations.
Internet, and Marketing: Having the right site for your
business is critical, as footfall is vital to your business growth. Except
you are operating an online business, the location might not be a problem.
Although the geographical area may be a concern depending on the type of
business, you would be operating. The site could also impact the quality
of internet presence, which could be detrimental to your business as a
start-up. Marketing is critical to improving your business visibility. If
your business is not visible enough, how do you intend to sell, and who do
you want to sell to. Do not go blowing money on a business if you are not going
to market it. That would be signing up for failure.
- Change With the
you start up a business, certain trending factors may be the reason why
your business is thriving. One constant thing is “CHANGE”, as a
business owner, you need to understand this and be ready to upscale,
rebrand or improve your services to meet the new trends and demands.
Failure to do so may result in your business going downhill. Just imagine
using a 1990 tactic in the 20th century. Do not be too rigid
and make that change now!
- Do Not Be in a Hurry to Expand: When your business has begun to
flourish, you might think of expanding or having new outlets, but you must
treat the expansion like you are starting all over again. If you choose to
grow your business reach, be sure to understand the areas and markets you
will now be reaching. If you decide to expand the scope and focus of your
business, be sure to understand your new products, service and intended
consumer as well as you do with your current successful business.
Although many businesses fail in the first two years,
it does not mean that yours too will die. Through research, planning, and
flexibility, you may be able to avoid many of the pitfalls of a new business
and be a part of the 25% that make it to 15 years and beyond.
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