It is pretty well established that most businesses fail within the first five years. There are a lot of reasons for this. But to make a long story short, life is hard. As for the rest of the businesses, a future of moderate success, but mostly uninspired obscurity awaits. All things considered, that’s not too bad.
But if you aspire to more than uninspired obscurity, you have to do a few things differently than the average business. You have to aim for more than simply not failing. You have to take a few risks that might not turn out so well. That is the nature of risk.
Staying in lockstep with the crowd is easy. Getting ahead and being noticed is a bit more challenging. You have to be willing to do what the others are not. That might mean opening an hour earlier and closing an hour later. In retail, every little advantage counts. Here are a few ideas that can put you a step in front of the pack:
Host a Conference
One of the best things a small business can do is attend industry-specific conferences. There is always something new to learn. And you get to network in powerful ways that give you a real advantage. But the downside is that they are expensive, time-consuming, often boring, and require a lot of travel.
You can turn those disadvantages into advantages by hosting your own conference. The expense is a line item under marketing. You don’t have to travel. And as the host, attendees pay you. Just make sure you rent the right sized venue. Cater at least one meal. And provide a top-flight event app.
Is it worth it to find and buy a conference app? Absolutely. You can turn passive attendees into active participants. With the right app, you can:
Provide real-time access to lead reports, including social profiles, qualification, and notes, as well as booth staff performance analytics.
The right app pays for itself in the benefits returned. These days, a custom conference app is a basic part of your conference-hosting toolkit. Don’t just go to a conference. Be the conference, and have the network come to you.
Use a Turnkey solution to Get Started
It is great that you want to turn your hobby into a business. But doing it on your own from scratch is a lot of work that requires a lot of expertise. In doing so, you will make a lot of mistakes and run into a lot of problems that have already been solved by others who came before you.
One way to get ahead of the game is to find a good turnkey solution that will take care of all the small details. With such solutions, your main concern is marketing. Some companies do everything from product acquisition to warehousing, to fulfillment. They will even design and administer an ecommerce website.
When it comes to these types of solutions, you can get as much or as little help as you like. The thing to remember is that your first venture will not be your only venture. You don’t have to stay with the turnkey solution forever. Just long enough to get a jumpstart on your future.
Find a Good Business Partner
The problem with sole proprietorships is that two heads really are better than one. Not only do you have someone who can let you know when you are off the mark, but you get to benefit from another person’s expertise in an area you don’t have.
There are many benefits to having a business partner. Among them are the following:
- More finance
- A fresh perspective
- Double the networking
- Expertise in other areas
With a partner, there are two people shouldering the burden and carrying the load. In a world of sole proprietors, the two person partnership is king.
You can do better than mediocrity. So if you are tired of merely surviving, host a conference, find a turnkey solution, and get a partner.