Making it big in small business takes more than just enthusiasm, market awareness or adaptability. The most successful small businesses combine a mixture of all of these things, along with a healthy dose of competition and a little bit of fear.
Those who opt to become entrepreneurs know the ride won't be an easy one, but if you want your journey to start being more about success than desperate survival, here are some core tips that can help.
Adapt to Survive
It's true that you need a passion for your product in order to tackle the good times and bad, but it's even better to be flexible.
Don't fixate on the original business plan or product if there is a way to respond to the market more effectively.
You should always be willing to adapt: staying up-to-date with industry news using professional networks like LinkedIn, listening to advice and keeping an eye on the competition.
Which leads onto one of the key strategies for startup success: competitive research.
Assess similar businesses from the start to see where you fit in, but more importantly, continue to check up on your rivals to make sure you're competing at the level they are.
Web tools like companies house direct, which are available through several websites, allow you to monitor regular reports and statistics from particular firms, meaning you can always be aware of what everyone else is doing and how you could do it better, plus identify gaps in the market.
Take a Step Back
Having said this, it is good practice to view your business from the consumer side as well.
Use the web and social media to suss out customer opinions on your company, or just talk to individuals to find out what's positive and what's frustrating about the service you provide.
What is your client base?
Is your start-up scalable?
Is the market potentially a global one?
It's great to be able to ask yourself such fundamental questions at every stage - and know the answers.
Of course, most start-ups would be doomed to failure without a diverse and committed team, along with a self-awareness that ensures you won't ignore good ideas or alternative strategies, even if they don't comply with your own. Success doesn't appear without hard work and persistence but it's just as dependent on an open mind and a willingness to put the needs of the company and the consumer above your own.