It takes a real risk-taker and adventurer to take the journey as an entrepreneur and start a new business. Unfortunately, according to Forbes, 9 out of 10 startups go out of business because they fail to prepare themselves for the multiple challenges that lie ahead.

While starting a completely new venture in this economy can be tough, there is no denying that we have seen a lot of success tumble out of businesses that started out in their own garages. Amazon, Apple, Google, Hewlett Packard and Microsoft — all started in a garage.

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Bad timing might be one reason for the failure of a small business or new product, but there are numerous reasons why some ventures are unsuccessful. But instead of looking at all the shipwrecks, let’s examine five ways to you can sail into successful waters:

1) Validation

A successful startup is able to validate necessities within their marketplace. After all, no one will want to spend their hard-earned money on something they know nothing about. You must know in advance whether or not your customers will be willing to pay the price of your product or service. Many startups will often scale too quickly before streamlining their costs without first validating their special niche in their online marketplace.

2) Strategy

Consider the main goals of your startup. Where do you plan to see your business in a year? Five years? Ten? Do you want your business to ultimately become national or reach a global market? Without an effective plan or strategy, even the simplest task can fail. You must reach or exceed specific goals. Formulate and stay on track using agendas that show strides towards reaching certain milestones and objectives.

3) Conservation

Especially in startup mode, one must be cash conservative. Just because you have money in the bank, it doesn’t mean that you should buy a whole new computer system when what you have is functioning perfectly fine. The ability to run a lean operation is paramount to eventual long-term success.

4) Transparency

A successful organization should have little or nothing to hide. Online, everyone is always watching so you should appear trustworthy and honest at all times. Transparency shows integrity and you will gain trust when people know that you are not concealing things from them.

5) Communication

No great business or venture was conceived and developed successfully in a vacuum without input from others. Almost every successful entrepreneur will note the vital need and tremendous opportunity afforded with good communication. Whether it’s good news or bad, your investors should know where their money is going and that their support is appreciated.

Starting a business can be costly, so if you ever want to approach a possible backer or partner, make sure all of your affairs are in order. An investor will be looking for a number of things besides a simple return on their investment and most of those are shown above.

The ocean of online technologies and ventures is a very treacherous place to set sail. Make sure you plot your course carefully, that you see and hear everything around you crystal clear. Even the best of sailors can get lost in a storm or run their ship aground on a rocky shoreline.

If you are going to swim with the sharks, you better have a good, strong stroke and make sure all your ducks are in a row before you dive in.