According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), 414,043 small businesses opened their doors in 2015 (most recent statistics), but 395,602 closed. Wow!
The SBA also reports that only half of new businesses survive for five years or more, and only one-third survive for 10 years or more. The statistics prove there is no guarantee that starting a business will lead to great success and happiness.
Business ownership is challenging and without a plan for success, you won’t just be opening the doors to your business, you’ll also be opening the doors to risk that could lead directly to failure faster than you can imagine.
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to eliminate every risk that comes with opening and running a business, but you can mitigate as many risks as possible and boost your chances for success by carefully planning from the very beginning. Most importantly, you need to get excellent advice from real experts and professionals who have started their own businesses and help other people start and run new businesses each day.
Business Planning: Your First Steps
Research has shown again and again that entrepreneurs who start business planning early are much more likely to build successful companies. However, business planning includes more than a written business plan.
It should also cover the essential foundation elements of your company. For example, you should get expert advice to develop:
- The right business structure (sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, or limited liability company)
- Certificate of Organization (LLC) or Articles of incorporation (corporation)
- Operating agreements (LLCs)
- Bylaws (corporations)
- Employee and independent contractor agreements
- Non-disclosure agreements
- Trademarks, patents, and copyrights
- Trade secret protection program
- A tax strategy
- Insurance reviews
- Buy/sell agreement
- Business succession planning
- And more (the list goes on and on)
You don’t know what the future holds, but one thing is certain. If you don’t spend time planning your business, it will be a lot harder to succeed in your business. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!