This article discusses the importance of planning and flexibility when starting your own business and how to be successful in a world of booming small businesses.
According to a recent Forbes article, eight out of 10 businesses will “crash and burn” within 18 months, with reasons related to expensive, inflexible overheads. I know from my own experience how hard getting a business up and running is. Every aspect counts, every penny needs to be accountable and every idea painstakingly thought out.
It is crucial for start-ups to be meticulous in their plan from beta to meta. All of this planning is your real-time education. The failed plans and ideas help businesses hone the final version so it is good to be brave and prepared to fail if an idea doesn’t quite hit the mark as it will sharpen your resolve for the final iteration. Don’t be scared to ask for help. Surround yourself with people you trust. Commit to your idea and your people. No one is perfect and often things go wrong, but if you plan for the worst you will find starting and running a business so much easier.
Flexibility is important to any new business. The world of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups is saturated with great ideas, some of which unfortunately never made the jump from concept to fruition. It is important to always pick yourself back up again if your initial idea fails, and never be afraid to adapt – it could be the key to investment and ultimately success of your business.
All ideas need to start somewhere – the idea for my start-up came out of my busy travelling schedule. I was travelling the world as a business writer and found myself gravitating to coffee shops like Starbucks to meet people. It is comfortable, safe, clean and more importantly consistent – no matter where you are in the world, their formula is universal – but it is transient. I felt there was a need for flexible spaces that the travelling tourist, business person, student could drop into around the world in major cities – that’s how my business was born!
My advice to all new businesses is to keep going, forget the failures and focus on the positives. Use the hard times as the greatest mentor you will ever have – ensure you look at ways to adapt your business plan to the environments and people you meet. Above all never give up! The success of a company is driven by the passion and motivation of its leaders – keep it going and the rest will follow.
By Julien Smith, CEO and co-founder of Breather.com