Many entrepreneurs struggle as they begin the process of launching a business. According to a Small Business Administration report, only 67.6% of new employer establishments from 1994-2018 survived at least two years. That survival rate drops to 48.8% through five years and 33.6% through 10. The same report notes that the COVID-19 pandemic has been especially difficult for small businesses, with certain industries such as accommodation and food services, as well as arts, entertainment, and recreation suffering some of the hardest hits.
SuretyBonds.com is conducting its 2021 Entrepreneurial Insights Survey in order to better understand and support the entrepreneurs we work with. Some of the entrepreneurs we’ve already gathered feedback from have pinpointed the right resources as being a key part of their eventual success. But to take advantage of those resources, you have to identify them first.
Which tools help small businesses succeed?
Many who have already taken the Entrepreneurial Insights Survey have stressed the importance of outsourcing and finding the right external resources for entrepreneurs who are trying to succeed over the long haul and make sure their businesses stand the test of time.
Take advantage of assistance/educational programs
The significance of small business to the United States economy has long been established. As a result, there are multitudes of public and private programs aiming to help you succeed. Erin Zadoorian, CEO and executive editor at Ministry of Hemp, offers specific advice about programs that have aided her business:
“I’d always wanted to be a business owner, but I didn’t know where to begin. The good news is that there are a plethora of materials on the internet that will teach you about entrepreneurship. Courses on platforms like Udemy and Skillshare can really help you take off. These classes have greatly aided in making life easier.”
Likewise, other entrepreneurs mark the potential for public programs to provide financial recourse:
“The 7(a) loan program by Small Business Administration (SBA) was my life-saver. They provide low-interest rate loans to SMEs and entrepreneurs who are struggling to find funding for themselves. During the pandemic, the SBA was very active in helping small businesses with lending issues and provided disaster recovery programs for companies that were left hopeless due to the pandemic,” says Ryan Nieman, CEO at Solitaire.
Don’t be afraid to outsource
Trusting experts in other specialized fields can also be beneficial for your small business. While larger companies can afford in-house services, it may be necessary for a smaller business to outsource in order to reduce peripheral distractions and focus on the customer. Many entrepreneurs who have taken our survey have spoken of the importance of outsourcing:
“Around two years in, I hired a CFO to make the transition from cash-based accounting to accrual accounting. It was the first time I’d ever seen numbers I could trust on my business. I immediately cut the ad spend and focused on organic sales. The results on Amazon have been higher margins and an increase in profitability,” says John Terry, co-founder of Ketonia.
“The biggest mistake I made when starting out… was trying to do everything myself. Now, we have a team of specialists managing their own area of the business and everything runs like clockwork,” says Alex Mastin, CEO of Home Grounds.
“My business had undergone numerous changes due to legal jargons. Hiring an attorney helped me obtain various necessary permits for the smooth workflow of my business,” explains Josefin Björklund, CEO and co-founder of Topp Casino Bonus.
“I hired an accountant to teach me the financial side of things. Getting experts along the way helped me become good at what I do now,” says Brian Dordevic, president of Alpha Efficiency.
“When I started… I immediately went to marketing to produce sales. That was the conventional way… It was way too late when I realized that you didn’t have to do it the same way. We now have sales experts that can get the job done. It was one of the things I learned that I could outsource and entrust to vendors. Never underestimate the power of consultants and experts. Sometimes, they’re just the thing you need to scale,” points out Abby Drow, co-founder of Cloom Enterprise.
Pay attention to the effects your business has on your health, as well as the impact your health has on your business
The resulting stress of owning a small business should not be overlooked. This report from the Canadian Mental Health Association and Business Development Bank of Canada found that entrepreneurs generally experienced more mental health issues, affecting both their personal and professional relationships. CEOs and workplace psychologists have wondered if this rate isn’t even higher in the United States.
Eden Cheng, co-founder of PeopleFinderFree, provides great insight on the ways that outside resources can help ensure you’re not prioritizing control of your business at the expense of your personal health:
“One of the biggest personal challenges that I faced during the start of my business was learning to relinquish control over my work… I was so heavily invested in doing everything myself… and in the midst of juggling so much at once, it left me working on my off days [and] sleeping fewer hours, even when I didn’t have to. Since then, I have reevaluated how I balanced my work life and began spending more time improving my mental and physical health… While this may seem trivial, I can attest to the fact that doing so has significantly allowed me to find a proper outlet for all the workplace frustrations that my job often brings with it.”
We want to hear what you have to say!
Do you agree with the responses from entrepreneurs who have already taken SuretyBonds.com’s 2021 Entrepreneurial Insights Survey? Take the survey yourself to share your experiences and help fellow small business owners learn from you!