My Business is Failing – Why? What Can I Do?
I’d like to start this article by saying that currently, I’m pretty happy with my businesses and all of my entrepreneurial endeavours. However, trust me when I say I am an authority on businesses failing! A tag I am surprisingly proud of; I’ve learned from every failure and they’ve made me what I am. I’ll fail again, and probably a few more times en route to where I want to be.
I’m not saying that there is an exact formula to business, or business failure, but there definitely are patterns, and by looking into those patterns and seeing which apply to you, and the alterations you can make, you can save your business.
A Declining or Non-Existent Market For Your Product
It is true that in the modern day and age there are a lot of declining markets. There are many emerging ones too, but you need to be more thorough than ever in your research of what sells and how you can make money. You’re (probably) not going to get rich selling CDs in an age where digital copies of music are becoming ever more popular, for example.
A Lack of a Plan
I’m not like most in that I dont believe that you need to plan EVERYTHING in business. Not every move needs to be pre planned, but you do need a plan, and clear goals to stick to, if you’re going to get anywhere in business. It’s not too late if you’re already in business, you can make a yearly or quarterly plan and try to put things back on track.
Poor Cash Flow
Cash flow is key to a business. You can’t count on people at all, and you need a cushion for when you dont get paid as expected. A business overdraft or savings are helpful.
Unhappy or Poorly Organised Staff
If you dont have staff or partners then this is obviously irrelevant, but your staff in business are absolutely key and keeping them happy and productive is vital in order to thrive. Reward them, be fair to them, and cut them some slack…you’ll see the results.
You Cant Be Competitive
This works in every type of business, if somebody else is doing it better or cheaper, or heaven forbid both, you may well be doomed. If a business is already shipping on mass, you’re not going to be able to compete. Dont start a supermarket next to an established chain, you’re not going to win.
This has killed so many businesses over the years. Balance sheets, spreadsheets, profit and loss margins, time management…the list of activities that keep you, your staff and your business organised is almost endless, and though it is almost never why we go into business, it sure can be why we fail.
As said previously, there are a lot of reasons for businesses to fail, but if you fear that any of the above are getting to yours then make sure you remedy the problems. If you simply cant remedy the problem, pivot, turn 180 degrees and start something new. Failure is an important part of your life, learn from it and move on.