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10 Survival Strategies for New Entrepreneurs

Posted by Susan Ford | May 30, 2024 | 0 Comments

Any successful entrepreneur will tell you that starting your own business is a thrilling endeavor that requires creativity, resilience, and strategic thinking. Whether you're planning to launch a disruptive tech startup or open a charming local cafe, there are foundational strategies that will help you lay a strong groundwork for success and help you survive (and even thrive) long-term. 

We'll guide you through 10 essential strategies for creating a successful business. Even if you've already started a business, you'll learn something new that will catapult your business growth. Ready? Let's dive in.

Strategy 1: Forge Strategic Partnerships

Collaboration can exponentially increase the resources and capabilities of your business. Effective partnerships combine the strengths, visions, and expertise of different individuals, creating a synergy that can tackle larger projects, share the financial burden, and enhance market reach. When selecting a business partner, look for complementary skills and a shared vision for the business, ensuring that all parties have aligned goals and expectations. 

Don't overlook the value of strategic partnerships outside of business partners. Having a trusted advisor at your side, who can guide you to make strategic decisions or avoid liability, is invaluable. Working with a Business Advisor will help ensure that you have the right systems in place to make your business run smoothly and efficiently, will help you see potential areas of risk that could derail your business, help you put in place plans to avoid risk, and advise you on the ramifications of any business decision you make before you make it. If you're fully committed to your company's success, we will help you get there with as much ease as possible.

Strategy 2: Prepare for the Unexpected

Business ownership is inherently dynamic and unpredictable. Economic downturns, technological advancements, or changes in consumer behavior can arise suddenly and impact your operations. To build a resilient business, work with a Business Advisor who can help you develop robust strategies that include risk management and contingency planning. Also consider establishing an emergency fund, diversifying your revenue streams, and staying agile—always ready to pivot your business model in response to market demands. 

Strategy 3: Cultivate an Inclusive Environment

The reputation of a business is crucial and can be significantly enhanced by creating a welcoming, inclusive atmosphere. An environment that respects and celebrates diversity not only attracts a broader customer base but also fosters a positive workplace culture. With the aid of a Business Advisor, you can implement policies that promote equality and inclusivity, and train your staff to adhere to these principles. By making everyone feel valued and included, you increase customer loyalty and employee satisfaction, which are pivotal to sustained business success. 

Strategy 4: Value and Support Your Team

Your team is one of your most significant assets (if not, the most significant asset). Investing in a supportive and respectful workplace can boost employee morale, increase productivity, and help retain top talent. Establish clear communication channels, recognize and reward employees' efforts, and provide opportunities for professional growth. A happy and motivated team will naturally provide better service, directly influencing the quality of customer interactions and enhancing your business's reputation. If you're not sure how to lead your team with confidence and clarity, invest in leadership education now. Leadership is a skill you can learn, and is crucial for business success.

Strategy 5: Discover and Maintain Your Unique Business Identity

In a competitive market, discovering and maintaining your unique business identity is critical. Your unique selling proposition (USP) sets you apart from competitors and helps attract and retain customers. It's your “secret sauce.” 

For instance, KFC has “11 Herbs and Spices,” Geico has the “15-minutes could save you 15%,” 

If you haven't yet figured out what your secret sauce is, consider your core values and special characteristics that define your business. Then, consciously build a strong brand that customers trust and relate to. Always remember, what makes your business unique should remain at the forefront of your operational and marketing strategies. If you're struggling to find your USP, a Business Advisor can guide you. 

For more strategies on enhancing your entrepreneurial journey, including leveraging digital tools, financial management, and customer experience, be sure to read the second part of this series, coming next week. Set a reminder now so you don't miss it!

Strategy 6: Embrace Digital Transformation

In today's fast-paced world, leveraging digital technology is essential for business efficiency and growth. You simply can't run a business without it. Digital tools can streamline operations, enhance customer engagement, and open new channels for marketing and sales. So invest in building a robust online presence, utilize e-commerce platforms, and explore digital marketing strategies, such as content marketing and social media, to reach a broader audience. And don't overlook data analytics to gain insights into customer behavior and preferences, which can inform business decisions and strategies. A Business Advisor can help you put the data to work for you and create a plan for business growth. Read to the end to find out more. 

Strategy 7: Develop Financial Acumen

Sound financial management is the backbone of any successful business. Understanding the basics of accounting and financial analysis is crucial. Keep a close eye on cash flow, as it is the lifeline of your business. Develop a solid plan for managing expenses and revenue, and use financial forecasts to guide business decisions. Regularly review your financial statements to understand where your money is going and to identify trends or issues early. Educating yourself on financial principles or working closely with a financial advisor can provide a clearer picture of your business's financial health and guide your growth strategies.

Many entrepreneurs are creative visionaries who may not be comfortable with numbers. That's why having a Business Advisor is a crucial member of your team. They can help you learn and feel comfortable managing your finances, and will often have a trusted and vetted financial expert on their team who can offer personalized advice for your business. 

Strategy 8: Focus on Customer Experience

Enhancing customer experience should be an ongoing endeavor. High-quality customer service can turn first-time buyers into repeat customers and advocates for your brand, without having to invest more time and money obtaining new customers. Offering a high level of service, therefore, is one of the wisest and most efficient ways to achieve success. So invest in training your staff to provide excellent service, and solicit customer feedback regularly to improve your offerings and ensure your products or services deliver maximum value. Constantly be willing to improve your service, even if you receive negative feedback from customers, and you'll only learn more and grow. 

Strategy 9: Prioritize Sustainability

Today's consumers are increasingly aware of environmental issues and often prefer to support businesses that prioritize sustainability. Implementing sustainable practices can not only reduce your environmental impact but can also improve your brand's image and attract a loyal customer base. Consider sourcing materials ethically, minimizing waste, recycling, and using energy-efficient appliances, if applicable. Communicating your commitment to sustainability can also strengthen your relationship with customers and differentiate your business in a crowded market. 

Strategy 10: Network and Engage in Lifelong Learning

Never underestimate the power of networking and continuous learning! Attending industry conferences, participating in webinars, and joining professional groups can provide valuable insights and open up new business opportunities. Networking allows you to learn from peers and experts, stay updated on industry trends, and potentially find mentors who have been in your shoes and can provide insightful advice. Additionally, continually updating your knowledge and skills can help you stay competitive and agile in a rapidly evolving business environment. 

A note about learning: All business owners make mistakes. But what differentiates successful ones from unsuccessful ones is what they learn from those mistakes. Those who see mistakes not as failure, but as opportunity, will make great strides. Those who see only failure will get stuck in a negative mindset that not only makes business ownership stressful and overwhelming, but can lead to business failure. A Business Advisor can help you see opportunities when you may not be able to, and advise you on how to move forward and implement the knowledge you gain. 

Bonus Strategy for Local Businesses: Build Strong Community Ties

Starting a brick and mortar business in your local community can offer numerous benefits for growth and success. Engage with local business associations, participate in community events, and explore local government resources that might be available. Building strong community ties can enhance your business's local reputation and create a loyal customer base. Furthermore, local resources such as small business development centers and local business groups can provide invaluable advice and support, helping you navigate the early stages of your business. 

And now you're armed with 10 essential (11 of you have a local brick and mortar company) strategies for business success. You know that building a successful business is a multifaceted venture requiring dedication, strategic planning, and a proactive approach. By implementing these strategies, with the guidance of a trusted advisor by your side, you position your business for growth, resilience, and long-term success. Here's to your entrepreneurial journey—may it be challenging, rewarding, and ultimately prosperous!

The Business Advisor You Need

Having a trusted partner at your side for all stages of your business is the best way to achieve success. Whether you're just starting out or you're growing your company, locking down these essential strategies with the help of someone who is as invested in your company's success as you are is a surefire way to achieve success quickly.

And as your Business Advisor, I'm here to serve as the trusted advisor you need so you can focus on growth and increasing cash flow with ease and confidence. 

Schedule a complimentary call with us today to get started.

Contact us today!

This article is a service of Res Nova Law, a Personal Family Lawyer® Firm. We don't just draft documents; we ensure you make informed and empowered decisions about life and death, for yourself and the people you love. That's why we offer a Life & Legacy Planning™ Session, during which you will get more financially organized than you've ever been before and make all the best choices for the people you love. You can begin by calling our office today to schedule a Life & Legacy Planning™ Session.

The content is sourced from Personal Family Lawyer® for use by Personal Family Lawyer® firms, a source believed to be providing accurate information. This material was created for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as ERISA, tax, legal, or investment advice. If you are seeking legal advice specific to your needs, such advice services must be obtained on your own separate from this educational material.

About the Author

Susan Ford

Susan L. Ford is the founder of Res Nova Law, with over 25 years of experience working with businesses of all sizes. A former shareholder at one of Portland's largest law firms, Susan started Res Nova Law to better serve her clients. Res Nova Law offers its clients Susan's big firm know-how, while giving them the personalized attention they deserve.


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