Starting a business is just the first step on the long journey you will take as an entrepreneur. Once the enthusiasm wears off, you’ll find that starting a business is the easiest part of your journey, but making it sustainable is another story…
In today’s global economy, about two-thirds of businesses survive the first two years, half of all businesses survive to five years, and only a third manage to thrive for ten years or more.
In France, a survey published by INSEE shows that five years after their creation, 67% of companies are still active, compared to 53% of traditional sole traders (excluding the auto-entrepreneur regime). Societies are therefore more sustainable than sole proprietorships.
So how do you keep a business going?
Invest in your team
In addition to quality products and services and strategic decisions, your employees are at the heart of the development of your company. Without their dedication and focus on results, your business might have failed within the first two years.
To keep growing, you need to invest in your team, which is essentially the heart of your business. Rewarded and professionally engaged employees will help retain existing customers and strive to attract new ones. Because they speak positively about your business throughout the community, they act as word of mouth in your favor.
Set sales and profitability goals
To be successful, a company must earn enough money to support its operations and make profits that can be reinvested for future growth. Determine how much your business needs to bring in monthly, quarterly, and yearly in terms of revenue to be successful by considering your operating expenses, including:
- The production ;
- Personnel ;
- The capital.
Now is also the perfect time to review your pricing structure by asking yourself the right questions:
- Are your products correctly priced?
- How many (products/offers) do you need to sell in a given period of time to reach your revenue and profitability goals?
Once these elements are well defined, you will know exactly what to do to keep your business running and thriving.
Analyze the competition
To succeed, don’t be afraid to study and learn from your competitors. They may be doing something good that you can implement in your business to make more money. How you analyze the competition varies from industry to industry.
For example, if you own a restaurant, you might just dine at your competitors’ restaurants, ask other customers what they think, and get information that way.
Benefit from an experienced network or entrepreneur
Spend time interacting with people in your industry who can become useful as potential partners, suppliers, advisors, or customers, while quickly building brand awareness. The woven links make it possible to have a network of suppliers, a customer base and quickly benefit from fame.
According to a study published by INSEE, companies that benefit from a network or an experienced entrepreneur make a better start, regardless of their size. 55% of dynamic entrepreneurs have been helped by professional relations (customers, suppliers, former employer) compared to 34% of other still active business leaders. The help of a former employer is the most decisive.
At the same time, it is also important to develop your social media presence to reach potential customers in your target market, especially if you want to be successful in online business. LinkedIn and Instagram are great ways to keep up with new, existing and potential customers. It also allows you to find other people in your industry and maintain your company’s exposure.
When running your business, always keep your ego in check and avoid thinking that you have everything, that you have nothing left to learn. Companies, like people, are never static. We are constantly evolving.
So be thirsty to learn, gain knowledge and learn from others. Adapt, change in this ever-changing world and do it with an innovative mindset. Be curious and observant. Drive steady growth by implementing innovative ideas that set you apart from your competitors. The brain is unlimited in its capacity for knowledge.
Try to stay ahead of your market.
To learn how to design a sustainable business idea, view this module in our training Designing and promoting a digital training offering.