How entrepreneurs can succeed in 2014

The new year means plenty of opportunities for small business owners and entrepreneurs alike. When it comes to crafting an ideal financial plan over the next twelve months, past trends and future predictions should help pave the way.

In addition to the current small business climate, entrepreneurs should be careful to avoid a few common pitfalls that often plague people in similar situations. There are a number of things that can get in the way of success, but thankfully, most are easy to dodge if one knows what to look for.

To get started, small business owners should pay attention to these financial tips and trends that are expected to play a role in 2014 and beyond. 

Entrepreneurs have improved, are more common
Across the country, more people have decided to set out and start their own businesses. This is fantastic, and many industries have seen entrepreneurs try their hand at creating a sustainable business model. From good accounting to solid financial investment advice, these new professionals will need a few recommendations to get started.

According to Chris Heivly, a managing director of The Startup Factory and contributor to Inc. magazine, entrepreneurship is as popular as ever. This trend was present in 2013, and appears to be continuing into the new year. While setting up an office and acquiring funds to get started are all worthwhile accomplishments, it is important to remember that the biggest achievement a small business owner can have early on is creating a new product and satisfying customers. 

Heivly explained that while there are more entrepreneurs out there, the overall quality of these budding professionals has also improved. More talent has tried their luck at creating a new business, and this could be very good for their respective industries and the economy as a whole. However, Heivly added that it is crucial to remember that a small business is a group affair. Nobody should have to do it all on their own, and in fact, achieving success will be easier if there are other people there to help. A trusted advisor can be a valuable asset, and these colleagues can provide vital insights into business banking, investments or other small business nuances.

Entrepreneurs can't trip up
The life of an entrepreneur and small business owner is full of ups and downs. In many cases, these fluctuations happen in rapid succession, with few breaks in between. In order to handle these changes, professionals have to be prepared to handle the lumps right alongside all the achievements. 

According to Robert Dickie, president of the non-profit organization Crown in an article for Fox News, a small business owner needs endurance. To survive, it is a must that every business partner is someone who can be trusted. Not only that, but they must be able to contribute something to the company. Those who don't agree with the organization's core values, want to head in a different direction or don't perform consistently can be serious detriments to its overall success.

A lack of focus can be a serious problem for a small business, Dickie explained. Many owners and entrepreneurs want to say yes to anything, chase each lead and please every customer. While this is noble, it can lead to a confusing mission statement and a distracted company. On the other hand, a firm that has a clear goal will be able to set realistic benchmarks, and pursue financial growth more aggressively. 

That is why being able to say no once in awhile is a good idea. A small business owner who has a clear financial plan and a great vision will be more likely to meet every goal they have along the way. 

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