~by Emma Sturgis~
Ninety-six percent of all businesses fail within the first 10 years, according to Inc. While this figure may shock you, it should also make you more cautious as you prepare to launch your own business. That said, here are four things to ponder before opening your doors.
Level of Expertise
Be honest with yourself in determining whether you have the skills necessary to run a business. Just because you worked in an industry for 10 years doesn’t mean you can run a successful business. If you feel you need additional training, take some courses in entrepreneurship. Also, consider a partnership with someone who has the skills you’re lacking.
Finding a Supplier
If you are selling products, you will need a supplier, unless you plan on manufacturing the wares yourself. The most important factor when choosing suppliers is cost. Find a company that will provide you with enough margin to earn a reasonable profit. It’s also imperative that your suppliers meet your service needs. If you need two shipments per week, for example, they must be able to meet those demands. Research various suppliers and find the ones who can meet all of your needs.
Choosing the Right Location
If you’re in retail, choose a location that can generate lots of traffic. You also need to consider the demographics of the area. If you sell high-end merchandise, for example, consider selecting a venue where residents earn a household income of $100,000 or more annually. If you service business clients, it’s usually advantageous to rent property from someone rather than own it outright. However, make sure you find a property leasing company like Hartman Income REIT that’s fair and offers you favorable leasing terms. Most companies pay between 1 and 13 percent of their sales for rent.
Preparing for Growth
If you have aspirations to become the next Bill Gates, you will eventually need to yield some control over to others. This includes hiring employees and then delegating more of your work to them. You may also want to take your company public someday. Learning to delegate can be difficult for many entrepreneurs, but is essential for your business to experience exponential growth.
Always do your due diligence before starting a business. Assess your own skills and then find others who can help you grow.
Emma is a freelance writer based in Boston, MA. When not writing, she enjoys reading and rock climbing.
Say “hi” on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2.