Being A Trailblazer

The Small Business Administration estimates there are 580,900 new small businesses opening each year and that number does not include the small one-person entrepreneurships that pop up every day. However even if you are your business’s sole employee then there is still something to be learned from the SBA’s numbers.

According to the SBA, two-thirds of new businesses survive at least two years and 44 percent survive at least four years. Two of the key factors in the businesses survival and ability to thrive: the owner’s education level and the owner’s reason for starting the firm in the first place.

How can you make sure that you are among the winners rather than the losers in this high stakes game? The answer is inside of you. You must ask yourself four key questions to determine whether your own small business will survive and thrive.

1. Are You Ready

Have you mentally prepared yourself for the switch from employee (or student or whatever label fits you currently) to boss.

2. Where Is Your Niche?

Have you identified your niche yet? One of the reasons many businesses fail is that they fail to focus on a target audience.
Knowing your niche means you are better able to find, target, and maintain your customers as well as provide the best possible goods and services to that customer base.

3. What Is Your Plan Of Action?

Another key factor in the survival and ultimate success of our business is how much planning you do before you open your electronic or physical doors. Planning can also help keep you focused and to balance your spending and time.

4. Who Are You Going To Call?

At some point, no matter how experienced a business person you are, you will need help. You will need support, advice, tools, or information — or all of the above.  Failure is when your business shuts down because you didn’t get the help you needed.

In this coming season, our correspondents (Billy Harfosh, Lauren Hightower, Alexis J. Smith, and Tatiana Toomer) will bring you the perspectives and valuable knowledge from women who know firsthand the challenges of being a trailblazers and business owners.

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