The statistics speak for themselves: According to the Small Business Administration, a mere one-third of new businesses survive beyond 10 years. How to survive, thrive and T.R.I.U.M.P.H. as a new business depends on several key strategies.

Assemble a team of creative, hardworking and dedicated associates who believe in the new venture’s goal. Most small businesses start with only one or two key players who share a vision. But as businesses grow, especially if they grow quickly, they end up with new hires that may just be looking for a job. Regardless of the position, successful ventures attract career-oriented, like-minded team players.

Use all the resources available. This includes mentors, successful local businesses and entrepreneurial organizations. Networking with other successful business owners and mentors provides a wealth of sound expertise and advice.

It is easier than ever to use technological tools to enhance a business. Innovation is literally a touch away. Stay abreast of financial and organizational apps and use social media to reach customers. Innovation also applies to products or services offered by a business – they must adapt to changing needs as well.

Successful businesses either offer something others can’t or they offer something better than what is out there. Find a strength in the service or product that sets it apart from the competition – and market the heck out of it.

Have a roadmap for the future. This is more than a business plan, it is a fluid goal that can adapt as market tastes and economies shift.

This is one of the most important keys to a businesses success. Owners that are passionate about what they are doing attract success. Investors are willing to fund them. Top-notch professionals want to work for them. And customers keep coming back because they know the company’s leaders believe in what they are doing.

High Quality
As business grows, quality can decline, signing a once-promising company’s death warrant. Quality assurance at every level – management, production, sales and marketing – must be maintained for long-term success.

New businesses face many challenges, but staying focused on quality, personnel and service, while keeping an eye on innovation and passionately following the dream, can help entrepreneurs buck the odds and insure long-term success.

Annette Weeks
Director for the Center of Entrepreneurship

Annette Weeks is the Director for the Center of Entrepreneurship in the Steven Craig School of Business at Missouri Western State University. She has over twenty years in the business arena. She started out in education, earning a BS in Elementary Education with emphasis in math from Missouri Western State University. After teaching several years, business opportunities pulled her into entrepreneurship.