Starting a small business and ensuring its survival is not an easy task. Most new businesses close before their fifth birthday. But do not despair. There are techniques to improve the likelihood of success for your business, and almost all of them involve applying proven methods that are easy to assimilate.

It comes down to doing the right thing, when you have to. By applying strong fundamentals, you greatly increase your chances of success.

Here are 7 steps to put your new business on the road to success.

1. Proceed methodically. Do not take excessive risks.

In a recent study entitled Portrait of the businessman as a predator , Michel Villette and Catherine Vuillermot argue that, contrary to the popular myth, very successful entrepreneurs such as Ted Turner, Sam Walton and Bernard Arnault do not have as much great propensity to take risks that one might think.

These famous entrepreneurs behave more like predators, advancing slowly and cautiously, minimizing risk and striking at strategic moments, when chances are on their side.

2. Plan effectively

Every effort you spend on planning exponentially boosts your success at the execution stage. For a new business, everything is based on a business plan .

3. Define an effective value proposition

It may sound complicated, but it’s just about making sure your products or services are more appealing to customers than your competitors.

Successful entrepreneurs know that no matter how good they are, they will only be able to attract customers if they have a clear comparative advantage.

4. Surround yourself with the right people

Even if he excels in a particular field, it is rare for an entrepreneur to be an expert in everything (sales, accounting, exploitation, law, etc.). Good entrepreneurs know how to work with effective teams to achieve the desired results.

5. Plan the financing

This crucial step is normally part of good planning. Financing is the essential oxygen for the survival of a business; if it runs out, it is likely that it will die, even if it has a lot of potential.

Successful entrepreneurs take steps in advance to ensure they have access to the necessary funding . Investors, partners and potential lenders are much more likely to support a company when provided with detailed plans from the outset.

6. Find sources of help

Federal, provincial and municipal governments and agencies provide a range of resources to help new entrepreneurs.

In addition, more and more incubators and accelerators specialize in starting businesses. These organizations are very useful for entrepreneurs who want to develop their business network and work in a collaborative space.

You should also take a look at your Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Centers or Business Leadership Associations. Many of them have mentorship programs that match new business leaders with experienced leaders.

7. Think long term

When they go into business, entrepreneurs naturally focus on the first few weeks or months. In many industries, however, supply cycles can be much longer.

For example, a contractor who develops new software in the first year will then have to spend considerable time marketing it. By “thinking long-term,” entrepreneurs can ensure that they have sufficient resources to build a solid foundation for their business.

Start a small business: towards success in 7 steps

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