The United States is the fourth easiest place in the world to start a business, coming in behind Singapore, Hong Kong and New Zealand, according to a recent report by the World Bank. In stark contrast, only half of new businesses survive within the first five years, and merely a third survive at least ten years.
But the question still remains, why is it deemed much easier to start a business, in comparison to the rest of the world, yet a large number of entrepreneurs find it harder to keep the company operational (and profitable) in the long-term?
While, studies shed light on the issues facing startups, there are an increasing number of resources and proven strategies that can help you defy the odds. If you’re just getting started, or need to jump start business growth, here are six tips that can help you set your company up for long-term success.
1. Choose your customers wisely.
Did you know that not every customer is actually a good customer? This may ring truer for some entrepreneurs, such as freelance web designers and writers, than for others. But it’s really true across the board.
For example, if you’re a freelancer, you’ve come to realize that some clients are so demanding that they can consume more resources than average and put a tremendous dent in your rate. In other businesses, customers who are slow to pay can hinder your company’s cash flow.
Choose your customers wisely and set expectations from the beginning including checks and balances to ensure that both parties are living up to them.
2. Fine tune your website’s SEO.
One of the simplest ways to drive more online traffic to your business is to optimize your website’s search engine optimization (SEO).
Your main goal should be to provide excellent value for customers and potential customers who are visiting your website. This could take the form of a company blog, which you can use to optimize your website, include relevant keywords and provide information.
3. Get your finances under control.
One of the many reasons young businesses fail is due to under-capitalization. One way to preclude this is to make smart financial decisions from the beginning. This could mean holding back on marketing budgets, and finding creative ways to create awareness so you don’t overreach your financial capacity.