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Bucking the Trend: How to Succeed in a Turbulent Marketplace

business imageThere’s a wealth of statistics on the success and failure rates of startups and small businesses. Amongst the range of studies on the subject there’s claims that four out of five startups fail, alongside assertions that a staggering 95% of small businesses cease to trade after five years. It’s hard to decipher the truth behind the stats, even harder to determine the factors that may have contributed to a business’s failure. Almost universally though, the picture painted is that starting and running your own business can prove an unrepentantly difficult task, the odds stacked against you.

Bucking the trend takes savvy, particularly in a bruised and battered global economy, so , to help you on your way, here’s some tips that just might help you stay one step ahead of the competition…

Explore funding options thoroughly

Credit is tight and banks aren’t keen on lending , a recent UK study of 1000 small businesses suggesting that one in ten small firms succeeded in gaining the amount they applied for. Given the extent of the credit crisis, those findings are likely to be mirrored elsewhere.

Thankfully, there’s options other than the banks though, should you be struggling to raise the necessary capital needed to begin trading or fuel expansion.

One such option is the innovative process of crowdfunding, in which a business sells an equity stake to an investor via a crowdfunding website. Elsewhere it’s worth exploring the myriad of government schemes, these often offering favourable interest rates and the like. Both avenues are worth exploring, should raising capital be a struggle.

If funds aren’t forthcoming, consider bootstrapping.

If the banks won’t lend and you’ve exhausted every other avenue of funding, don’t give up hope.

It’s not suitable for every business, as you’ll need either a constant and early revenue stream or considerable personal finances, but if you tick these boxes and you’re struggling to raise capital, bootstrapping may offer an answer. You’ll have to keep an extremely keen eye on your finances and be unrepentantly frugal, but going it alone is possible. Regardless of what the naysayers may say.

Take to the clouds and the appmosphere

Cloud software and the myriad of apps on the iPhone, iPad and Android market offer great value for money and services which make their fee paying equivalents largely redundant. For free, Google Drive provides document, presentation and spreadsheet development to rival Microsoft office, via cloud software. This means you’ll be able to access your important documents anywhere with an internet connection via your Smartphone or laptop. In short, you won’t be so heavily reliant on your desktop and possibly a bit more wealthy.

There’s a wealth of apps meanwhile that can help you run your business on the go, apps such as mPowa allowing you to take credit or debit cards whilst you’re out and about , meaning that you need never miss a potential sales opportunity again.

Remember, cash flow is king

There’s a range of reasons why small businesses may fail , amongst the most common being poor cash flow. Potential revenue flowing in one or two months down the line is no good if you’ve got a mass of outgoings coming out sooner and if you’re not on top of all the financial rigmarole then you could rapidly find yourself in the red.

Keep a keen eye on balance sheets and stick to short, stringent payment terms whilst forecasting wisely. This should you maintain healthy looking numbers in your accounts.

Succeeding as a small business or starting up in the midst of an economic crisis isn’t the easiest of tasks, but through a bit of frugality, accounting nous and investment savvy, it is possible to upset the odds.

Author bio: Mark James is a Writer for Crunch, one of the UK’s leading limited company accountants. He specialises in small business.

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Bucking the Trend: How to Succeed in a Turbulent Marketplace
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