When you run your own business, you have a lot of freedom, but it does not come without risks. Indeed, every business investment has the risk of failure. In fact, most new businesses do fail.

To minimize the chances of this happening to you and your company, there are several steps you can take. For some people, following these suggestions does not just prevent failure but also creates the ideal conditions to thrive during difficult times.

1. Stick With It

There is no doubt about it: Perseverance is a necessary ingredient when it comes to business management. If you refuse to fail from the very beginning, you will begin fostering a mindset that will keep pushing you forward. In many ways, the business world is a battlefield. Make sure you wear your armor.

2. Remember Your Customers

According to Gartner research, 20% of customers tend to be responsible for about 80% of all company revenue. In other words, your customers should be the heart and soul of your efforts. Take steps to understand them by asking for feedback and conducting thorough market research.

3. Be Flexible

At the end of the day, change is inevitable. If you want to learn how to stay ahead of the game, you need to figure out how to embrace a flexible mindset. Once you do, overcoming pitfalls will become much easier. If this is something you struggle with, an effective way to increase flexibility is by changing your perspective. 

4. Adopt Forward Thinking

Speaking of perspective changes, the ability to embrace failure also has a lot to do with this. Instead of seeing failures as disasters, try to see them as learning opportunities and short-term setbacks.

In addition, have a plan. Without a starting vision, where will your company go?  To begin, one of the first things you should do is create a business plan. This will allow you to look ahead regardless of what is going on.

5. Set SMART Goals

Goals are an important part of running a business, but not just any goals. When thinking about what you want your company to achieve, the key is creating high-quality goals. In particular, researchers suggest making SMART goals. These are goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely.

Overcoming pitfalls can be difficult when you are trying to manage a business, but it is far from impossible. By planning ahead, you can have significant control over what happens to your company.