It is a well known fact that over 40% of new businesses will fail within their first 3 years and of those who survive their initial 3 years, a further 50% will not see year 5. It is fair to say then, that the world of business can be a brutal one. To help you get through those early years you need to tread lightly and focus on creating a solid foundation for the future. We have been very fortunate to speak to the wonderful , a man who has launched any successful businesses here in Dayton, Ohio and who has revolutionized the gas industry with his company Questar. To help us offer some tips on navigating your way through these early business years, Mr. Mohlman was kind enough to offer his insights.
One of the biggest reasons why so many companies can’t stick around for a long time is that they fail to manage their finances time and time again. This results in confusion about where money is, poor decision making as to how to spend it and usually a late or incorrect tax bill. You have to ensure that your business has securities against this kind of thing and that it is not reckless with finances. During these early years finance should be at the top of your priority list.
You may wish to keep the numbers of staff that you have in the business down to a minimum in these early years as you simply won’t be able to afford to pay them and all of the benefits which an employer should pay their staff. This will of course require a lot of hard work from you and the team and you may need to fulfill a number roles within the workforce. It will pay off in the end but there will be a lot of hard work to get through.
Remembering your scale is always important and you need to think in the long term when it comes to your business. We’d all love to start a business and take on the big boys right away but it just cannot happen and you must first realize where you are in the food chain, establish yourself and then go after those big fish.
One of the most important things that you should be doing during these early years is looking to forge relationships across the business and try to make a solid network of contacts. The people who you forge relationships with will be able to help you out in the future and you may find yourself relying on them sooner rather than later, make sure that you have given them a reason to want to help you out.
Finally you should be focussing heavily on the customer, making sure that you are providing them with the best product or service for their needs, they are the reason that the business will succeed or fail so be sure that you are keeping them in mind.