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Every business owner dreams of achieving success. Sadly, not all companies make it, and a large proportion of startups fail (8 out of 10 entrepreneurs according to Bloomberg) within their first 18 months. 

That’s a whopping 80% crashing and burning.

There are many reasons why businesses fold and taking steps to prevent common obstacles can make all the difference.

Here is a simple guide to help you keep your business afloat.

Value your team

Most company owners rely on a team of people to hit their targets and make the venture profitable. If you’ve got a great set of employees, don’t take them for granted or let them slip through the net.

If you’re impressed, tell them. If you’re in awe of their dedication, make sure they know that they’re valued. Offer opportunities to progress, try and make the working day enjoyable, and encourage teamwork.

Lead by example, and don’t be afraid to get to know your workforce. If your employees are happy, they’re likely to be more productive.

If your star players feel undervalued and they’re worried that they’re working for nothing in return, offers from other companies may turn their heads.

Image Credit: Virgin

Have a plan B

Every business should have contingency plans in place to enable them to carry on and recover if things don’t go to plan. If you’re running a distribution business, for example, it pays to be aware of services like those offered by New Era Fuels.

If you own an online shop, have you got access to the relevant tech support you need if your site crashes? Think about what could go wrong, and try and ensure that you have a solution for every eventuality.

If you can minimise the risk of downtime, this could make the difference between going under and staying afloat.

Every business encounters hurdles along the way, and if you can bounce back with minimal collateral damage, this will improve your chances of making a real go of it.

Keep an eye on the numbers

Ultimately, success in business depends on the numbers. You may enjoy your job, or you might have a great idea, but if you’re not taking any money home, you won’t be able to keep the company running.

Accounting may not be your strong point, but don’t underestimate the importance of keeping an eye on the books, and making sure you have a firm grasp on the numbers.

Think carefully before you invest more money, and make sure any risks you take are calculated.

Look at your income versus your outgoings, and if the margin isn’t big enough, think about ways you can cut costs and make savings without impacting on the quality of the service you provide.

If you employ too many members of staff on temporary contracts, for example, you could consider hiring freelancers or outsourcing when their contracts expire. This gives you access to the skills you need without tying you to annual salaries.

Conclusion

If you’re a business owner, you probably don’t even want to entertain the thought of failure. The sad reality is that many people can’t make their venture a success.

Hopefully, this guide will stand you in good stead and help you to keep your head above water.

How to Keep Your Business Afloat When Failure Is Not an Option