We’ve all heard the shocking statistics that 50% of startups fail within the first 5 years. Even those that do succeed, have a far shorter lifespan than they did in years past. You don’t want your small business to be one of those that fail, so you must invest time in learning what those who succeed do differently. This goes beyond business basics, to seeking out the resources, skills and tools that will push you to your full potential.

Never Get Too Comfortable

The key to any successful business is to set clear and measurable goals that are supported by your daily systems and operations. However, you must remain flexible and open. While you don’t want to operate from a constant state of change or flux—you have to balance the need for change. The more open and flexible you are, and the less set in your ways—the easier it will be to navigate crisis, or realize the full potential of new opportunities or streams of revenue.

Prioritize Your People

While you need your customers to drive revenue, you must remember that you are not an island—and you need a team full of both skilled and dedicated employees to achieve success. Everyone, from your entry-level team members, to your right-hand employees is a critical part of your success. There are many ways you can prioritize your people; from cultivating an intentional company culture, to investing in ongoing training, maintaining open lines of communication, supporting innovation at all levels and making an effort to sincerely connect and engage.

Creating A Succession Plan

A common roadblock that small business owners make, is failing to create job descriptions and in-depth succession plans. When you first launch your startup, you and your initial team are likely to wear many hats. However, as your business grows, you must ensure that job descriptions are detailed and clearly defined. Maximize efficiency by creating strategic teams and departments. This will not only ensure that everyone knows what they are accountable for, but will also develop ownership, increase job satisfaction and retention rates, and set the foundation for a people pipeline that promotes from within.

As you can see, achieving success as a small business owner requires you to do more than offer the best products or services, or mastering the financial side of your business. To achieve longevity, your approach must be truly balanced.