Small business market taking lessons from tech industry

Small business is the backbone of the economy, in Illinois and across the United States. Nine of every ten U.S. employees work for small businesses. There are an estimated 28 million small businesses currently in operation nationwide and starting a new venture has never been more possible.

Half a million new businesses open their doors every month, and 70 percent of them will make it two years. A third will still be around 15 years later. The operations might look a little different, though, than the traditional model. The market has learned lessons from tech startups, and businesses of all sizes are incorporating a fluid, feedback-heavy planning structure.

The first step is to research the target industry and establish the business model. The operation must have a clear direction and purpose. It should fill a need, create value and monetize it. Soliciting feedback early as soon as the model is decided and the idea fleshed out is important. New entrepreneurs should be careful not to get too wrapped up in their early ideas, as successful ventures depend on open-mindedness.

The next step is to analyze the market, as the market environment will heavily impact business strategy. Realism is important, too, at this point. Many new businesses fail because they overestimate revenues or overlook expenses during planning. The business plan need not be complicated or technical. It is often best to start simply with a list of bullet points focused on key ideas like assignment of responsibilities, cost analyses and revenue projections.

The final step before implementation is to again solicit feedback. This is the stage when legal advice can be most helpful. An attorney with experience in business and commercial law may be able to help during the business formation process by outlining potential legal and regulatory hurdles that could have to be overcome.

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