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How to Figure Out What’s Ailing Your Startup

Updated: Nov 30, 2023

The beginning of running a small business can be a time of uncertainty. Most small businesses don’t even make profits until they’ve been running for a good amount of time – about a year or more. If you fear that something is threatening your startup in these fragile phases, you may want to look a little bit closer.

Look at the Numbers

Data and metadata can be extremely helpful. If you’ve been running your business responsibly, that probably means that you’ve kept thorough records of every purchase and every business expense. Look for fluctuations in the data. Are there times when things seem to be getting better? Or when sales were high enough to actually bring about results that reflected growth? What were the circumstances surrounding that period of success? How can you tap into those circumstances more on a more constant basis? If you can’t seem to use the numbers to decipher exactly what is wrong, you may want to hire a professional analyst to help out.

Get Some Outside Help

Business consultants can help you in a variety of areas and recommend improvements. No matter what your precise issue happens to be, there will probably be a professional who is familiar with that type of problem. The great thing about a hired consultant is that it’s not just about knowledge – it’s about experience. Business is a difficult, ever-changing field. Consultants have been riding that unstable wave for a long time, and thus know how to adjust according to your market and your location. Talk to other local business owners in order to get good referrals and recommendations on competent, fair consultants.

Reasonable Comparison

Sometimes, it can be helpful to draw inspiration from your peers. Take a look at other businesses in your area that seem to be doing well. What is it that they do differently from you? What is similar? How different is their market from yours? Depending on the niche that your company occupies, you might have a lot of other local businesses doing the same thing – or you might be the only one. You can even try and communicate with the owners to see if they’d be willing to share some tips, although many owners might see this as helping their business competition.

The key is persistence, and that goes far beyond diagnosing problems with your startup. Business is about hard work, intelligence, analysis, and creativity – but it’s also about luck. So, make sure to have patience with yourself and with your startup as it gets off the ground.

Check out this article on how automation can improve your business!

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