We are talking about the questions a potential small business owner should ask and answer before launching a new enterprise. Last week we tackled what skills a person needs to be a successful small business owner. This week we will talk about what the keys are to succeeding in a small business.
The first thing any business needs, large or small, is leadership. The person in charge, whether the CEO of a Fortune 100 corporation or the owner of a Mom and Pop diner needs to be able to lead the business effectively. That doesn't mean the leader doesn't seek advice from others, it just means the buck stops with him/her.
If the business has more than one owner, the next key to success is to properly manage the partnership. We have talked in previous articles about the need to put together a comprehensive and detailed operating agreement. Having a lawyer review the operating agreement is also very important to make sure the language will hold up in court.
The third key to success is the underlying concept of the business itself: what problem does the new business solve? Is the concept full thought out and properly described so customers/clients understand what problems you can solve for them?
After verifying that the concept is sound, a successful enterprise will have a good business plan which includes a detailed and specific marketing plan. Having a good product or service will do the owner no good if there isn't adequate working capital to make it through the start-up phase or if the marketing isn't sufficient to allow customers to find you.
Another important element to consider is risk management. This is more important for a small business than a large, I would argue. Who will run your business if you become ill or injured? We have written articles previously about how to set up a proper emergency plan for your small business and this should ideally be done before the doors even open and then refined as the business grows and changes.
So what are the keys to succeeding as a small business? Having an effective leader, managing the partnership properly, founding the business on a sound concept, creating a detailed business plan which includes a well thought out marketing plan and making sure you are prepared for any emergency.
Next week, we will talk about the business plan.