Memphis is a hub of small business, with innovation and change fueling Memphis’ unique culture and offerings. However, starting and maintaining a business is an incredible challenge—according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 50 percent of American businesses fail in the first five years. To help small businesses thrive in Memphis, TN, we’ve compiled some advice from entrepreneurs across the country who have achieved startup success. Here’s what they have to say.
1. “Good ideas are cheap. Success comes from hard work, not a stroke of genius.”—Nir Eyal
Nearly everyone knows someone with a business idea that they’re sure will solve everyone’s problems and make them millions of dollars. However, if asked, many of these people don’t have plans for turning their ideas into profitable companies, in which case even the best idea becomes completely worthless. If you have an idea for a small business, it’s essential to actualize it with a business strategy and concrete goals to make it into a reality.
2. “Don’t plan everything! Listen to your customers and make changes as needed.”—Vanessa Van Edwards
Being sure of yourself and laying concrete plans is essential for getting a business off the ground. However, once you’re up and running, it’s paramount to listen to your customers. Though the phrase “the customer is always right” has been watered down in recent years, it holds true in terms of small business development. Ultimately, customers will only pay for things they want, so if business owners grow out of touch with their customers’ wants, it will swiftly become impossible to make money. Always keep the desires of your consumers at the forefront, and make sure the product you’re offering solves a problem for your customers.
3. “If you want to succeed in business, count your costs and project revenue ahead of time.”—Jason Quey
Though this mostly applies to businesses with venture capital, all entrepreneurs should be wary of upscaling too quickly. Although scaling should be an eventual goal for any business, it’s important to remember that expanding costs money. If a startup grows too quickly without the revenue to support the expansion, it will eventually crumple under its own weight. With this in mind, entrepreneurs need to always ensure cost does not exceed revenue, or else they will find themselves swiftly going under.
- Advice from successful entrepreneurs
- What to know about the Lean Startup
- The danger of growing your business too quickly
- Grow your business in Memphis
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