Small businesses fail for a number of different reasons but, fortunately, they don’t fail as often as you may think. Contrary to popular belief, most small businesses don’t all fail within their first five years. Recent statistics suggest that about 70% of small businesses survive their first two years and subsequently just over half survive the first five years.
What keeps a small business running? Innovation and the gall to be bold. To be more specific, here are a few of the ways you can maximize your chances of your small business not only surviving but flourishing:
Get your finances in order.
Nothing is more important to a small business than staying on top of your finances. This should be one of your principal focuses upon launching and in looking for an accountant you should take care to scout for people who have experience working with small businesses. Often times you will get a better rate and will be partnering with someone who considers themselves part of your business team.
Make yourself lighter.
Unless you’re engaged in some form of manufacturing or industrial work don’t have a centralized office. Have your employees work remotely and conference electronically. Not only will this save you money on overhead, it will save your employees money on gasoline costs. Real time communications have advanced to the point where it makes a lot of sense for small businesses with less than a dozen employees to work from home.
Use social media to promote yourself…and not just Facebook.
Social media is small businesses’ secret weapon. You can use social media to break into new markets and target a niche audience. You can also use location-based marketing campaigns on Foursquare and Gowalla to crowdsource consumers for constructive feedback and to create brand ambassadors.
Invest in cloud services.
Instead of spending exorbitant amounts of your capital on software, hardware, and expensive infrastructure, look for services that can store, secure, and synchronize your files online. Not only is it cheaper and, in many cases, more safe than traditional data storage options, it facilitates real time communications and often improves your Internet network speeds. 60% of small businesses declare bankruptcy due to data loss. Cloud services can help you to be in the 40%.
These are just a few of the ways new small businesses can optimize their productivity and maximize their chances of surviving their first five years and beyond. And remember, it’s not just about survival, it’s about growth!
Today’s Guest Post was provided by Samantha Peters. Samantha is an active blogger who enjoys writing about topics of interest to entrepreneurs and small businesses. In addition to blogging, Sam provides advice for small business owners.