How these business practices can help your business last forever

Keeping a company afloat in 2024 is its own intensive challenge, so it’s no surprise that the internet is full of sensationalist responses to the question, “How do I prevent my business from dying?” While there is no one right answer, Entrepreneur’s Chris Savage has a few salient take-aways, all of which fall under the heading of slowing down and planning effectively so that your busy months turn into successful years. 

Savage opens by addressing his own burnout, admitting to a certain amount of buy-in to hustle culture. “I was in back-to-back meetings all day. I loved the dopamine hits of putting out fires, but I was in a frenzy. I was operating in survival mode,” he writes. 

Instead of working in this fashion, Savage recommends settling for “good-enough” when delegating so that you can slow down a bit and focus your attention where it matters most.

“If someone can do something 80% as well as you, delegate it. Spend your time only on those things you can uniquely do,” he adds, exemplifying the concept that “slowing down” doesn’t necessarily have to mean ceasing operations or lowering output. 

Savage also advocates for a “less is more” policy–so long as quality and consumer responsiveness is part of the “less”.

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“Companies that put the majority of their focus on things they can uniquely do are companies that win,” he explains. “By focusing on fewer initiatives — specifically those proven to work and impact the customer — teams can focus on the activities that create a flywheel effect and drive exponential growth.”

Identifying the sole reason why someone would feasibly want to spend time with your company–something that can be brutally introspective, but absolutely worth the investment–is a good place to start if you’re looking to scale back and zero in on what actually makes your product or service competitive. 

The implied message here, of course, is that you do have to be unique in a way that matters. Plenty of companies go under simply because they end up serving as nothing more than less impressive copies of another business’ ideals; if this is the case for you, it’s probably time for a recalibration. 

The final advice that Savage offers is to adjust the way you look at failures. “Teams that celebrate failure are teams that win in the long run. They see hitting a brick wall as feedback, not a block, then adjust and course-correct quickly to move in the right direction,” he writes.

This is more of a mindset tweak than an actual business practice, but it’s a good step; businesses that learn from their mistakes–plenty of which will occur–stand to move forward in a mature and measured way, while those that speed past their failures will most likely repeat them ad nauseam. 

Savage’s advice is only the tip of the iceberg, but it’s a great start if you, like most small business owners, are worried about keeping your head above water in the coming months.

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