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Five Hacks For A Fail-Proof Business Comprehensive business planning has a proven record of long-term business success. Rule #1 for success: plan, plan, and plan again.

By Tarig El-Sheikh

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"You are the captain of your own ship, the master of your own destiny." When setting up our businesses for the first time, we all start out like superheroes, ready to conquer the world! But then, like in the movie Titanic, disaster strikes. We hit the nearest unanticipated iceberg in the distance. In no time at all, our business takes a nosedive. Does this sound eerily familiar?

Statistically, eight out of ten companies starting out are said to fail. The question thus is, is there a way to ensure your startup's success in the future? Our results-oriented SME service provider teams offer risk analysis and expert advice that guards your business against future failure. Here are the top five steps that you can implement to ensure a successful business venture:

1. Planning is key

Many small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) face greater levels of uncertainty and fail to spend adequate energy on developing strategic business plans. They fail to outline future plans that guard against potential devastation. Even though an alarming 50% of all startup businesses fall flat within the first five years of existence, many business owners sidestep the planning phase and find it unnecessary to implement. Comprehensive business planning has a proven record of long-term business success. Rule #1 for success: plan, plan, and plan again.

2. Location dictation

As we know, in Dubai, location is paramount. Accessibility equals convenience, to put it simply. Some may go as far as saying that one's physical location plays a pivotal role in the company's overall growth and operational systems. Rule #2: when choosing your location, consider your customers, logistical company equipment needs and employee satisfaction.

Related: The How-To: Setting Up A Business In Abu Dhabi

3. Financial resources

Digging deep into one's pockets has for centuries been the number one defeat of all newly instated businesses. An additional reason linked to insufficient business funds is the inability to strategize a sustainable finance plan. Ensuring sufficient capital that is essential for the survival and prosperity of your business is a fundamental element to the overall longevity of your business. As a general rule, keep your revenue generation plan simple and realistic. In most cases, a period of two years is anticipated before your business can begin to recover from the initial set-up costs. Monitor your expenses closely and set up credit facilities with your suppliers. A contingency plan is imperative. Safeguard your business with a thorough plan that will not leave you exposed to the unexpected.

4. In-house skills

Seek out trustworthy individuals who are capable of leading your team to victory. Often times, poor leadership and a lack of management skills can be detrimental to a business. Ensure that all operations within your business have a timeous and strategic order. By recognizing your own shortfalls, you can opt for a short course, or appoint a skilled individual to support your weakness. Good leadership is like the light that shines upon every aspect of your business.

5. Ask yourself what problem your product solves

Always keep in mind the problem that your business is solving in the community and region. Hold onto these values tightly and you will reap the rewards you deserve.

Like so many others who have tried and tried again, I encourage you to wise up and make some simple changes. After carrying out these simple and fail-proof steps, your business will be given the fighting chance it deserves. Let the past be the past and remove all the icebergs in your way. Go on and establish your risk-free future, exactly as you imagine it to be. It is possible.

Related: Vision: The Driver Of Entrepreneurship

Tarig El-Sheikh

Co-founder, Beneple

Tarig El-Sheikh is an experienced entrepreneur and finance professional with a 15-year track record across emerging markets in building global businesses, technology startups and finance. Tarig is the co-founder of Beneple (formerly known as Aythan DMCC), an HR and health management platform that was successfully acquired in August 2015 after only eight months of operations. Before that, he co-founded a global e-commerce custom menswear company, Knot Standard, specializing in online and retail sales of custom clothing using proprietary online measurement technology. Tarig also founded the MENA based advisory group, Istashir in 2011 (exited March 2013), serving as an advisor to numerous leading MENA private equity firms and family offices. He sits on the boards of various companies that he has helped successfully launch.

Tarig’s on-the-ground and direct experience in developing business plans, budget, sales and marketing, corporate development strategy, managing corporate & board responsibilities, has successfully lead to numerous million dollar growth capital funding rounds from prominent investors such as Fadi Ghandour (founder of Aramex) and Arif Naqvi (founded Abraaj Capital). He holds MBioch in Molecular Biochemistry from Oxford University, and also graduated top of his class with a Distinction MSc in Finance from the prestigious Cass Business School, London.


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