Prepare your small business for success in 2014 with these tips

December 13, 2013

Read small business success tips from Hiscox USA CEO Ben Walter, small business expert Barry Moltz and technology entrepreneur Amos Winbush III.

Providing information for small business owners to launch or grow their businesses is something we value at Hiscox. In our recent virtual summit, Hiscox USA CEO Ben Walter, small business expert Barry Moltz and technology entrepreneur Amos Winbush III, shared tips for small business success in 2014.

Walter kicked off the summit by highlighting the results of the 5th annual Hiscox DNA of an Entrepreneur report. Annually, 3,000 small business owners are surveyed about their sentiments, the overall business environment and factors that will influence their business in the coming year. The study revealed that funding a new business is becoming increasingly difficult, with almost 75% of small business owners finding it difficult to find funding. Walter mentioned that this may change with the growth of crowdfunding. The eDNA report also revealed that almost 65% of small business owners found government bureaucracy a major barrier to their success. Looking forward in 2014, Walter mentioned that this isn't expected to change.

While small business expert Barry Moltz is known for being successful at getting businesses unstuck, he highlighted some of his business failures, which included getting fired from one of his businesses by his partners. Moltz focused heavily on the need for small business owners to manage cash flow going into the New Year. He stressed that every small business owner needs to know how to read a cash flow statement. To prepare for 2014, business owners should ask their accountants for help on learning how to read these statements. Don’t outsource the math. Know as much about your small business financials as possible.

Technology entrepreneur Amos Winbush III launched his presentation by sharing that his universal data technology company, CyberSynchs, was launched during the height of the 2008 recession. But like a number of small business owners, he decided to take a business risk because he felt that his company could be “of service” to its customers. Starting a business during an economic downturn meant Winbush had to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. This allowed him to be to able to deal with anything unexpected that occurred within his business. Winbush also discussed the lean start-up concept, where businesses focus on not being wasteful or taking up a lot of time when launching a new product or service. This concept can be helpful to small business owners with limited financial resources.

To hear more small business success tips, view the archive of the virtual summit. Presentation slides from each speaker are also available to download.

As we head into the New Year, the Hiscox team will bring you more resources to help grow your business. Are there any particular business topics you would like us to cover? Comment on this blog post to share your thoughts.