Top-Shelf Tip No. 161:

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts."

Winston Churchill

Four Ways To Keep Your Business Alive, Part 1

Statistics seem to be against the likelihood of even half of new businesses staying open to celebrate their fifth anniversary. According to Small Business Trends, just over 50 percent of small businesses fail in the first four years.

This could be troublesome news to anyone with a dream of owning their own business, however, you merely need to read further into the statistics to realize that half of the businesses survived and continued to thrive. It is possible and it absolutely can be profitable to own your own business.

Today and tomorrow, Promotional Consultant Today shares four areas of focus that are critical to the success of your new business. Some require more immediate attention, and others must remain top-of-mind all of the time. Here are the first two:

1. Systems, Protocols, Processes. These are words that are thrown around often when referring to the function or operation of a business. You often hear "The business isn't successful because there are no systems in place," or "Not everyone is following the proper protocols." Many times employees say they are unaware of protocols or they weren't trained on the rules.

Your systems determine how you want your business to run. The process is the step to get it done. It's important to have process in order to optimize time and resources.

Creating a system of accountability means that each team member understands what the job is and who is responsible for making it happen.

It is recommended that every process be documented, and that employees be trained on the processes that pertain to their success. Processes should also be reviewed on a regular business and updated as the business evolves and matures.

2. Know Your Numbers, Know Your Business. What does it cost to open your doors? Is your payroll within normal limits for your industry? Many of the businesses that tend to fail do so because someone else had a better handle on their numbers than the owner.

What numbers are important? The obvious answer is income and expenses. Looking a bit deeper, make sure you understand what is coming in and what is going out at all times. If something appears suspicious, ask and make sure that you are comfortable with the answer. You need to be intimately involved in your numbers to both manage any excess and to keep growth targeted.

Owning a business is the dream of many people, but it takes organization and detail to ensure the longevity and success of your business. Read PCT again tomorrow for more critical steps to ensure your business doesn't become a statistic.

Source: Janice Janssen, RDH, CFE, is the co-founder of Global Team Solutions (GTS), business consultant and a highly-regarded professional speaker. Her expertise in office management solutions makes her an asset to her clients across the country. Janssen is the current treasurer of the Academy of Dental Management Consultants (ADMC), and is a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE).

Compiled by Cassandra Johnson