To thrive in today's competitive market it takes more than a good investment and some luck. There is a right combination of elements that need to be in place in order to open your new businesses' doors and keep them opened. Many owners look to blame online competition or the economy but many times it can be traced back to poor business decisions made along the way. Here are a few tips you should be following if you plan on opening or own a small new business:
1. Don't go at it alone. Simply because you can do the job of two or three people does not mean you should. Seeking help can allow you to fulfill your vision and ultimately meet your customers needs the way you initially intended. Otherwise, you can end up committing avoidable errors or taking on too much and burning yourself out early in the game.
2. Find the right partner. When vetting through people to find the right business partner there a few things to keep in mind. It is important that after the initial rush of opening a business wears off you can keep each other motivated and enthused. Disagreements need to be handled the proper way and your partner should be able to compensate for what you are lacking. If you offer a creative and idealistic view your partner should provide the reality and logistic side to the business.
3. Look for the right location. As the retail doc, Bob Phibbs, said: "You never want to be 100 feet from success." It may be tempting settling for the location with the lower rent rate because of how much you'll save but be cautious of what this might mean for your business down the line. What you save in rent you might find yourself futilely spending later on advertising trying to drive traffic to your location.
4. Don't get too enamored with your products. There is nothing quite like curating the store of your dreams filled with the rarest and most unique products tailored to your liking. The problem lies when customers then don't want to pay your rare and unique prices and your store becomes a museum of things that won't sell.
5. Focus on the fundamentals. If you aren't familiar or don't want to learn the basics of running a business, be prepared to pay someone who will do just that. If you don't have your basics covered, such as budget analyses or paying your taxes, you're are setting your business up to fail.
6. Manage your people. Investing in a business includes investing in the people you hire. Take the time to manage and train your employees to carry out your vision. Delight them in their jobs and they will delight the customers, in turn, making your business competitor-proof.
7. Lead by example. Speaking of delight, make sure to maintain a good work/life balance. When at work show your employees you are fully invested in your work and they will do the same. Don't give yourself a flexible schedule filled with distraction. Your employees will likely want to do as they see and not as they are told.