According to statistics published in 2019 by the Small Business Administration, about 20 percent of business startups fail in the first year. About half succumb to business failure within five years. By year 10, only about 33 percent survive.
It’s not enough to just deliver what you delivered last year. There is no normal anymore. To evolve and grow, keep in mind the following:
- Disruption is the new normal. No matter your business, assume that it will be disrupted by a trend, technology, consumer or competitor. Pay attention to what your current or future customer will need and begin to test or offer that service or product now. Disrupt yourself before someone else does.
- Niche expertise becomes more important. As ecommerce and services become more competitive, you will need your product or service to have specific capabilities or expertise. For example, rather than offering accounting advice, consider services related to the coming transfer of wealth from baby boomers to their Gen X or Millennial children.
- Remote work. With competition comes higher costs. Consider hiring a talented remote employee without the resulting overhead expenses.
- Data analytics are becoming critical. The hidden value of your company is the data it generates or the data you can acquire to better understand your customer. How do you know what to offer your customers next if you don’t really know what problems the customer is really trying to solve?
- Automation/outsourcing of redundant tasks. How much of your employees’ time is spent on redundancy or repeating their tasks each week/ Outsource or automate those tasks and have employees focus on increasing your current customer service levels or generating new sales.
- Population is aging. Over the next 15 years, 70 million baby boomers will hold tremendous financial and real estate wealth. Most will want to spend their wealth trying to live an amazing life as they try to avoid death. Analyze the research data on this group. What product or service can you offer them to help them achieve their goals?
SOURCE: forbes.com, 2/24/2020