5 Things You Wish You Knew About Running A Small Business

The common wisdom is that most new businesses are likely to fail. And unfortunately, the numbers agree, as Small Business reports that four out of ten small British startups don’t survive past the five year mark. At the same time, the site also notes that after one year of trading, startup survival rates can be as high as 91%. This means that while small UK businesses have the ability to thrive, they have much to learn when it comes to long-term survival. So, it’s important to come to terms with this fact because perspective and mindset matters a lot in being an entrepreneur, which brings us to our first point.

Pessimism of the Intellect, Optimism of the Will

Understanding this quote from Italian theorist Antonio Gramsci is the first step towards adopting a realistically competitive entrepreneurial mindset. Pessimism of the intellect means approaching your objectives scientifically. Overcome your biases and determine whether or not your assumptions about the industry you’re trying to break into are grounded in reality and not just speculation. Meanwhile, optimism of the will translates to courage – the willingness to tackle even the most difficult hurdles. If the odds are stacked against your success, be prepared to do what it takes to overcome the odds.

It’s Never Too Early To Prepare A Litigation Response Plan

If you’re willing to invest a significant amount of your hard-earned resources into your business, you should also be ready to protect it at all costs. While this is true for any small, new business, it’s a particularly important consideration for tech startups, which are focused on developing disruptive technologies and/or business models. They’re the ones who often end up in the legal crosshairs of established tech companies looking to sue potential new competitors. This is part of the reason why U.S. legal firm Special Counsel reports that technology & eDiscovery solutions are now part of basic legal services. Wherever disruptive tech startups gain new ground, litigation often follows. As a comprehensive CB Insights report on almost 300 startup failures illustrates, tech-related lawsuits are an all-too-common part of doing business in many parts of the world. If your company is willing to take the risk of developing disruptive services, technologies, or products, prepare to catch the legal wrath of your biggest and closest competitors.

Embrace AI-Powered Data Analytics

Sue Stockdale has previously explained how ensuring efficiency across all business channels is not just a clever way to cut costs, but also to steer your small business towards consistent growth. In business, efficiency is everything. And in terms of increasing efficiency, nothing beats business data analytics backed by artificial intelligence (AI). Using AI-enabled software to analyse your business can give you insights about your customers that even the sharpest accountants can’t. This translates to better overall efficiency and can give you more opportunities to establish customer loyalty. Leveraging AI to help your business may be costly to start, but it pays for itself in the long run.

Pay Yourself Like An Executive

It’s equally important to put money into your business goals as it is to pay yourself your due salary. Neglecting yourself can lead to burnout, which is never good for business. Apart from that, receiving your computed salary based on current company growth is a realistic reminder of the current state of your startup. Do it for yourself as well as your goals.

Build Your Business To Run Without You

As upper management, it’s your job to craft and maintain a well-oiled machine that can still function even if you disappear from the picture. While this is difficult to do at the start of a business, it’s a goal that can steer your organisation towards consistent and even rapid growth. It’s never an easy task to choose the right people as partners in an entrepreneurial endeavour, but if you do it right, you’re well on your way towards being a driving force in your industry.

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