A Small Business Administration study earlier this year found that 24 percent of new businesses never make it to their second anniversary.
What Causes Small Businesses to Prosper? Many researchers say it is having a comprehensive business plan. Survival is also closely associated with age and size of the firm.
The longer a firm has been in business the more likely that it will continue in business. The same is true of size.
The dot-com boom of the s had changed the rules of business forever, it seemed; all you needed was a sexy IPO, cold nerve, and the magic carpet of momentum trading. But even as entrepreneurs and venture capitalists were dismissing traditional business models as antiquated and conventional business wisdom as old school, we found ourselves wondering if they were right.
For years we had watched new management ideas come and go, passionately embraced one year, abruptly abandoned the next. Our curiosity prompted us to undertake a major, multiyear research effort in which we carefully examined more than well-established management practices as they were employed over a ten-year period by companies.
Our findings took us quite by surprise.
Most of the management tools and techniques we studied had no direct causal relationship to superior business performance. What does matter, it turns out, is having a strong grasp of the business basics. Without exception, companies that outperformed their industry peers excelled at what we call the four primary management practices-strategy, execution, culture, and structure.
And they supplemented their great skill in those areas with a mastery of any two out of four secondary management practices-talent, innovation, leadership, and mergers and partnerships.
We learned, for example, that it doesn't really matter if you implement ERP software or a CRM system; it matters very much, though, that whatever technology you choose to implement you execute it flawlessly. Similarly, it matters little whether you centralize or decentralize your business as long as you pay attention to simplifying the way your organization is structured.
A company that consistently follows this formula has better than a 90 percent chance of sustaining superior business performance. The companies in our study, which we call the Evergreen Project, were divided into forty quads, each comprising four companies in a narrowly defined industry.
The companies in each quad began the study period to in approximately the same fiscal condition. Yet their fortunes differed dramatically over the decade.
Over the ten-year period, investors in the winning companies saw their money multiply nearly tenfold, with total returns to shareholders of percent. By contrast, the average loser produced only 62 percent in total returns to shareholders over the decade.
Consider how Tennessee-based retailer Dollar General, a winner in our study, fared during our research period compared to Kmart.
The other companies in their quad were Target and the Limited. Both companies were in roughly the same financial shape inbut Dollar General grew steadily, showing healthy profits year after year. Meanwhile, Kmart floundered, its market share plummeting from 30 percent to 17 percent between and We confirmed our findings in the five years following the study period.
In the strategy practice, for example, Dollar General never wavered from its focus, which was to provide quality products at a low price to low- and fixed-income consumers.
Kmart, by contrast, couldn't seem to decide whether it was focusing on low- or middle-income consumers. What's more, it got distracted by a major foray into specialty retailing, moving even further from its core customers.Welcome to my list of the best small businesses opportunities for , chosen from across a variety of industries.
To make my list, these businesses must. The Fojol Bros. serve Indian- and Ethiopian-style food from their truck, which drives around D.C. Flickr/Ben Murray This year we found the coolest small businesses in New York, Austin, New Orleans. Bplans offers free business plan samples and templates, business planning resources, How-to articles, financial calculators, industry reports and entrepreneurship webinars.
We would like to show you a description here but the site won’t allow us. FEMA’s Small Business Program (SBP) is one of eight programs under the DHS Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU).
The SBP office actively engages with FEMA’s procurement personnel to ensure that small businesses have the maximum practicable opportunity to participate in contracts. Both local and global influences can affect small businesses when it comes to managing currency, but many companies don’t recognize the risk before it’s too late.