2/19/2021

First-Year Business Goals That Set Up Long-Term Success

 Starting and building a business is not an easy undertaking. But that didn’t stop over 800,000 new businesses from launching in 2020. Nearly 8 in 10 will still be around in a year. These statistics notwithstanding, achieving success as a business takes a lot of work—and longstanding persistence. 

It also requires a lot of strategic planning focused not only on short-term objectives but long-term goals. For new businesses, first-year business goals often play a critical role in their long-term success. Without a clear north star in place, new businesses can languish and jump from one “priority” to the next without ever capitalizing on any of them.

Developing Actionable Business Goals

Understanding business goals serves as a roadmap to success. Businesses need to know where they want to be after one year, two years, five years, or even 10 years from now. There are a number of reasons businesses fail and succeed. Following are recommendations that new business leaders can follow when establishing business goals in their first year of operation.

Demarcate a Revenue Map

One of the first things a business needs to do is to develop a revenue map based on a potential market for its products and services. Nearly half new businesses fail because there is an insufficient market for their products and services. Setting revenue goals and then measuring the business against those is important. 

Compile Competitive Research

For virtually every business, a solid understanding of the competitive landscape is a requisite. If there are a lot of competitors in a given location or market, then it will be more difficult for a new business to gain a foothold. Nearly 2 in 10 new business indicate failure to look critically at the competition as a reason for folding up shop. 

Plan Cash Flow

Cash flow can be a significant problem for many new businesses. Nearly 3 in 10 cite insufficient cash flow as a central problem and cause for shutting down their business. Most new businesses operate on lean margins and thus interruptions in cash flow can pose serious challenges. Businesses must determine how much money is needed to run their business—including their personal finances—and ensure they have some cushion available in the event of unexpected revenue downturns. 

Hire the Right Employees—For the Right Roles

While not every business may need to hire employees out of the gate, many do so. Making the wrong hire can create significant problems—from diminished team morale, to inefficiencies, to the time and cost required dismiss them. Almost one-quarter of businesses cite hiring the wrong employees or creating the wrong positions as key reasons for their failure. As a result, new businesses need to pinpoint roles that are most critical to key business objectives and what attributes are most important for new hires.

Achieve Scale Without Hiring Full-Time Equivalent Workers

Building and growing a business requires a lot of time and resources. There is a long list of things a new business must do to succeed. One of the must-have goals is delivering memorable engagement experiences to customers, prospects, and partners. Many businesses hire receptionists to manage incoming phone calls and emails. But hiring a full-time equivalent receptionist is not a cost-effective option for most new businesses. 

Instead, many businesses rely on virtual (live) receptionist services like Davinci Virtual Live Receptionists. These virtual receptionists are available on demand, and businesses only pay per engagement. Experts in industry sectors and even the businesses they support, teams of virtual receptionists handle incoming calls, manage call forwarding and screening, send outbound emails, process orders, handle appointments, and more. New businesses can gain the scale of larger, established businesses without the same level of commitments. 

Reduce the Cost of Telecom Equipment 

Not every incoming call needs to be handled by a live receptionist. In these instances, auto-receptionist services are a good option. Auto-receptionist services like Davinci Virtual Auto Receptionist offer businesses professional greetings that route incoming calls to preferred lines—whether in-office or mobile. The upside is that these auto-receptionist services enable businesses to avoid purchasing and setting up expensive phone equipment—assuming they even have a permanent office. 

Avoid Getting Locked Into Expensive Workspace Leases

Permanent, fixed office space is expensive and locks businesses into long-term leases. Often, only a portion of the workspace is used. New businesses can save money by using virtual office addresses like Davinci Virtual Offices. These professional addresses also enable businesses to expand into new regional locations without securing permanent workspace in each. 

Realize the Benefits of Hybrid Workspace

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, many new businesses were recognizing the value of hybrid workforces where workers spend part of the week in a workspace and the remainder working from their home office. As we begin to ease out of the pandemic with vaccines on the horizon, most businesses do not plan to revert to prior status qua. Both large and small businesses are telling their workers to expect greater flexibility when it comes to where and when they work. This is where coworking or shared workspace like Davinci Meeting Rooms will play a critical role. Less expensive and more flexible than permanent workspace, coworking space can save businesses significant real-estate savings while providing workers with a professional workspace with which to collaborate with other professionals and businesses. 

Hold Productive, Efficient Meetings

Along with coworking space, rented meeting rooms/conference rooms give businesses the ability to hold meetings with employees, partners, or customers in a professional office setting. These normally come with lobby greeters, administrative/business services, business catering, presentation tools, and more. For new businesses seeking to stretch their dollars while exuding a professional appearance, rented meeting space like Davinci Meeting Rooms is a must-have. 

Codify Business Goals with Tangible Actions

Today’s economic environment presents significant challenges to new businesses. The labor market continues to fluctuate, and business revenues follow suit. Getting a set of business goals in place enables new businesses to establish their north star and to remain focused on it—regardless the distractions that arise. At the same time, these initial business goals must be measurable and achievable. 

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