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Statistics show that 50% of small businesses fail after five years of launching into the marketplace. This is an extremely high number. To some, 50% might seem like a mere number. In reality, replace the word ‘business’ with the word ‘dream’ and see how that changes things.

When people start businesses, they’re usually bringing a dream to fruition. To know that 50% of dreams end up failing is heart-breaking. It’s also difficult for the budding entrepreneur. This is why it’s important to focus on the positive fact that 50% of business continue and succeed. In order for this to happen, there are a few factors you’ll want to consider before you launch.

No Marketing Plan

Especially with the emergence of the internet, it doesn’t make any sense to exist in the marketplace without a really strong marketing plan. If you’re planning to sell a few clothes online, develop a strong presence on social media outlets. Use funnels, autoresponders and opt-in incentives to build a strong email list. You’ll want to develop a strong rapport with your customers and an email list really helps with that effort. If you can hire people to run the marketing department, this is an ideal move to make. If you can’t bring someone on to work full-time for you, hire a consultant to draw up an execution plan for you. Hire an intern and give them a stipend or college credit. Assign them the different tasks on the execution plan and gain the exposure you need to funnel in customers. If people don’t know your company exists, they can’t buy your products and keep your business alive.

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No Vision/Foresight

While it’s one thing to think about the first month or two in business. It’s another to create a plan for five years down the road. Create a five-year plan because five years will be here before you know it. Understand that in order to start and maintain a long-lasting business, you have to make sure you build a sustainable one. If you’re trying to get rich quickly, you might not have the infrastructure or character to handle that success. A slow build allows you to gain your footing, make mistakes and develop the type of business you truly want. Sit down and create short-term and long-term goals. When you’re able to communicate the vision of the company to others, your purpose is clear and easier for others to follow along.

Unproductive Employees

Sometimes, you might have an amazing product, marketing team and processes in place. However, the staff isn’t committed. When you’re first starting out with a small business, your staff might be small. If your staff is comprised of your friends that do what they want when they want to, your company won’t last. You need to hire reliable, productive people. Create an environment where passing drug tests, punctuality and reliability are standard.

Lack of Systems

If you take a moment to think, you can probably come up with a few companies you’d never do business with because of their terrible customer service. Proper customer service is mandatory when you’re working to rectify issues and please the customers. If they have a bad experience, they will tell their friends and word-of-mouth marketing is so powerful. Develop a good reputation by creating cohesive systems that work. Everything from office maintenance to email responses should happen within a specific time frame. This maintains a sense of order and reliability within the company.

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As you continue to develop yourself into a small business owner, you’ll learn a lot of lessons. You’ll grow wiser as a result of the process. Knowing this, it’s best to lean in, buckle down and get to work. Know that there’s no way to avoid a mistake.

You’ll make a lot of mistakes. The key is to recover well and learn from those mistakes. Don’t be afraid to do the work and do it with excellence. Before you know, ten years will pass and it’ll feel like you’re just getting started!

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