It's one thing to start a business, but consistently reaching your goals and maintaining a profit is a different story. Only four out of 100 businesses survive past the 10-year mark, and most businesses fail because they can't pay their bills. Take these tips and advice to make sure your business falls into the four percent.

Use your differences to your advantage

In a highly competitive sales space it's important to find what makes you different and use it to your advantage. Setting yourself apart from your competition can help you gain more clients, and keep them on as clients in the long run. Consider finding new ways to communicate with new business prospects or clients. For example, would they prefer you to follow up via text, or perhaps through social media?

Provide value

This seems like a no brainer, but everything you do for your business should add value to it. You should be able to show your clients how you're improving to make their lives easier. For business prospects, the more they see what you provide as "added value," the better. What can you provide that other competitors can't? Again, use those differences to your advantage.

Empower and invest in your team

Those on the front lines of your business are essential to your success. Take the time at the beginning of your business venture to put together a team you trust and are confident in. Empower them; invest your time in training and sharing your knowledge with them; be available to them when they have questions or want to learn. A lot of the time, your employees are the day-to-day face of your business, so having a smart and empowered team is crucial.

Attend networking events

Get your name out there. Attending networking events at the local, state or even national level can be a huge benefit to spreading awareness of your business. These are great places to look for new business prospects, and perhaps to get some tips from other professionals on how they maintain their own businesses.

Don't be afraid to change

If something you're doing isn't working, don't be afraid to step back and reevaluate your business strategy. It's better to make a change than to get caught in the deep end after it's too late. Recognizing your weaknesses and adjusting your plans accordingly will help grow your business and maintain it in the long run.

Published on: May 19, 2017
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.