Approximately 543,000 businesses are started each month, but a majority of these don’t make it past their first year in operation, Yahoo reports. If you’ve got entrepreneurial aspirations to turn your company into the next big business, you’ll need some key elements to make your business model work.
1. Cloud-Based Call Center Software
A business won’t survive without customers, so it’s important to have a viable way to take care of those customers. Thanks to the advent of cloud-based software, expensive customized phone systems are a thing of the past. To provide the most flexibility for growth and to develop a communications interface that allows you to connect employees across the country, your business should use a cloud-based call center software. As your business expands, you’ll want to connect with your customers in the ways that are easiest for them: live chat, social media, text messaging and mobile web. Be sure your chosen call center software includes solutions for all of these, and find a platform that can effectively route, manage and resolve customer issues without letting things slip through the cracks.
2. A Rockstar IT Team
While it is still possible for some small businesses to operate without IT support, your business can’t expand without solid IT infrastructure and a team to keep it operating efficiently. As your business grows, nearly every internal function — distribution, HR, sales, etc. — will have unique technology needs that must be tied into the rest of your organization. Fortunately, this doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll need to hire an entire IT team right away. Many outsourced IT management options exist for enterprise businesses, so it’s important to evaluate your options and determine whether in-house vs outsourced IT makes the most business sense for your company.
3. Comprehensive Insurance Protection
Big businesses have big assets, hundreds of employees and lots at stake. To protect all of your investments, you need comprehensive business insurance protection to cover a wide variety of scenarios. Natural disasters, raw material delays, worldwide health epidemics and lawsuits are just a few of the issues facing large businesses that can result in millions of dollars of potential losses. With the right insurance plan, these losses can be just a blip on your business radar screen, and your business can continue operations with minimal interruption.
4. Experienced Advisors
Even if you’re a serial entrepreneur with years of experience, you’ll need a team of advisors to help you make important decisions about your business trajectory. Jeff Bezos, Guy Kawasaki, Seth Godin, Richard Branson and other top business leaders all have a core team of advisors they go to while making decisions. These advisors can be an external mastermind group or key members of your company leadership team, but they should be trusted individuals who have your company’s best interests at heart.
Key Elements for a Viable Business Model
While this is by no means an exhaustive list of everything your business will need to become a sustainable corporation, these elements are notable for being competitive advantages in large organizations. Companies who can serve customers well, manage technology efficiently, continue operations in spite of disasters and make well-informed business decisions have the necessary elements needed to break out of the small-business mold and forge ahead to become well-known corporations.