Businesses of all types and sizes face risks that may lead to eventual failure. Such risks may involve the business model, product development, finances, customer service or the team itself.

Startup companies and small and medium enterprises are particularly prone to these issues. In fact, research has shown that 75 percent of venture-backed startups fail. Fortunately, there are many ways to reduce the odds of failure in your business.

Consider these 6 tips to improve your chances of success.

Ways To Avoid Business Failures

1. Set Clear and Realistic Objectives

Having an overall grand vision is significant in any kind of endeavour. Your vision sets the direction of your company. However, you also have to break down that grand vision into small, measurable, achievable and realistic goals that are easier to handle. Accumulating small wins can help foster professional self-esteem and propel your business further.

Set realistic goals, and try to consistently attain them by establishing strong habits and systems in your business right from the start.

2. Ask Help from Others

When setting up your business on a tight budget, doing everything by yourself may seem as the only option. However, being in charge of every single aspect of your business from management, marketing, product development, accounting and other back office activities may result to serious problems.

Conduct a core competency check on the skills that you have, and the needs of your business. Doing so can help you stick to your strengths, and efficiently delegate other tasks to others. Build a diverse team of people who possess complementing skill sets that are needed for your business.

3. Learn Your Financial Vocabulary

Although you may outsource accounting services, it is still important to be able to read financial reports such as profit and loss statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement. Today, you can already learn the basics of your finances from workshops and webinars.

4. Get in Touch With Your Target Market

You cannot control the market, but you can keep yourself updated on the latest trends that can help your business stay afloat. Regularly examine internal and external environments through SWOT analysis. Doing so can help you shore up any potential profit pitfalls.

5. Build Your Niche

Before rushing into developing your product line, identify your target market first. You can do this by writing a profile about your specific target customer. More importantly, talk to the potential customers and gather information firsthand. Learn what they currently want, and focus on giving it to them.

Focus on mastering this specific product, and establish yourself as an expert in it. During the first few years of your startup company, expanding into new product lines and industry sectors can dilute your strengths and lead to failure. When your budget and manpower are still limited, devoting your efforts and money to a specific product and customer base may be a smarter move.

6. Look for a Suitable Address

May it be a physical address or a URL address, make sure that it is appropriate for your type of business. For a brick and mortar business, refrain from sacrificing the location of your office for a cheaper rent. For an online business, try to avoid hyphens and uncommon suffixes that may confuse your customers.

Learn how to be more productive and have a success mindset.

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Founder @ The New Savvy
Anna Haotanto is the Advisor (former CEO) of The New Savvy. She is currently the COO of ABZD Capital and the CMO of Gourmet Food Holdings, an investment firm focusing on opportunities in the global F&B industry. She is part of the founding committee of the Singapore FinTech Association and heads the Women In FinTech and Partnership Committee. Anna is the President of the Singapore Management University Women Alumni. Anna invests and sits on the board of a few startups. Anna is also part of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry Career Women’s Group executive committee. Anna’s story is featured on Millionaire Minds on Channel NewsAsia. She hosts TV shows and events, namely for Channel NewsAsia’s “The Millennial Investor” and “Challenge Tomorrow”, a FinTech documentary. Anna was awarded “Her Times Youth Award” at the Rising50 Women Empowerment Gala, organised by the Indonesian Embassy of Singapore. The award was presented by His Excellency Ngurah Swajaya. She was also awarded Founder of the Year for ASEAN Rice Bowl Startup Awards. She was also awarded the Women Empowerment Award by the Asian Business & Social Forum. Anna has been awarded LinkedIn Power Profiles for founders (2018, 2017), Tatler Gen T, The Peak’s Trailblazers under 40 and a nominee for the Women of The Future award by Aviva


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