There it is folks, in black and white.
There are just some things in this world that can’t be denied and the fact that small businesses fail despite the best efforts of the people behind them is just one of the many things in life we might not “get” but still have to swallow.
And what a bitter pill it is! Or maybe it’s more akin to swallowing nails, whichever metaphor suits your drama.
Regardless, business failure sucks.
To see everything you’ve worked so hard for, all the equipment and materials you saved up to buy, the office space you fought so hard to keep clean and orderly, the clients you had to wage a war to win over from the big sharks and your competitors—all these can be gone in the blink of an eye.
All you have to do is to make a single big fat mistake and buh-bye!
Everything goes down the drain with a loud slurp. The worst part is that you can do nothing to turn back the clock and change the way you handled things.
You can’t go back grasshopper, you can only go forward.
Now before you yell at me for being all melodramatic here…
There’s one thing you have to understand.
I’m not discouraging you from opening and running your own business. Heck, go ahead and do it if that’ll make you happy. What I’m trying to do here is to make sure that while doing so, you DON’T run your ship aground and end up abandoning it in despair.
There are reasons why small businesses fail, and there are a handful of reasons that are pretty much bankable when it comes to failure. So if you want to know what you shouldn’t do to see your biz go up in flames, then keep a readin’.
You opened up shop for all the wrong reasons.
Oh, this can cover anything from wanting to compete with your ex sister-in-law who runs a wildly successful catering firm… to not having anything else in life worth doing… to wishing you could become a gazillionaire overnight.
And honey, no offense… but we’d all like to be rich and famous now wouldn’t we?
However the road to wealth and stardom is long, arduous and complicated. And I don’t think your in-laws will take it lightly if you start something that’s in direct competition with their own bread and butter.
You have to have your heart set on becoming a full-time and successful entrepreneur for all the right reasons if you really want things to work out. Entering the world of biz with nothing more than boredom, revenge or silliness as your drive and motivation won’t take you far.
But if you start a business for the right reasons, with the right motivation and the right mindset, you can almost count on hitting it right out of the park … you simply need to be able to see the bigger picture to find what will make you great.
Now you might accuse me of being too arbitrary with distinguishing right from wrong here, but I know that you know what I mean.
The long and short of it is there are some things in this world that are positive drivers that will give you maximum results… and some things in this world that are negative ones that will leave you with nada to show for all your hard work.
And who needs that?
You only know how to spell business management but can’t actually do it.
Sorry boys and girls, but business management is not just important for big, established firms like Coca-Cola, Dell or Toyota. In fact, proper business management can be the single most essential ingredient that you need to help you get your business up and running profitably and for the long-term.
Need an analogy? It is one thing to know how to lead your neighbourhood homeowner’s association, but it’s an entirely different ball game entering the competitive world of business and entrepreneurship. How’s that?
You need smarts, you need instincts and you need the skills to be able to handle the pressure. And if you’re a solo-entrepreneur like yours truly, you’ll need the ability to juggle many different hats!
However, I’ve always believed that business management can be learned, so if you’re not very confident about your current skill level, enroll in a class that’ll teach you the ABC’s and start off on the right foot.
And if you have learned all you need to know about business management, we’d love to hear any insights you have to offer in the comment section below. Your nugget of wisdom might just help someone who is struggling!
You rushed headlong into opening up shop without any solid plan. Yikes.
Uh-oh! Repeat after me… “I need a business plan!”
Honestly, it’s almost a sure bet you’re headed smack into a business pile of sh#% if you just suddenly decided to start your own business four hours after you handed in your resignation letter, with not even a hastily sketched business plan on a napkin.
(Here’s a brief dose of more of my thoughts on business planning if you’re so inclined.)
You just CANNOT skip over or rush the process of business planning and carefully detailing the things you’ll need to start operating.
Well… I mean you can… but really, I wouldn’t advise it at all. Not even a little.
Sure, your favorite expression is ASAP and you want that to be your business mantra, but c’mon… getting a successful business up and running takes time. Even God took six days to create the world… it wasn’t like he blinked and WHOA!… there we all were!
At least I’m 99.9999% sure that isn’t how it happened…
Point being, don’t rush in and charge guns a’blazin’ without a battle plan. You’re going to need to be both intelligent and effective out there when you start rubbing elbows with all the old-timers in the business realm.
Some of them are sharks and will derail your business in two seconds flat if they think you pose any sort of threat to them. (Sad, but true.)
So recap: no business plan of attack, no business success. And that’s my story, I’m stickin’ to it.
You don’t know how to ravish technology and make it your bi-atch.
And don’t give me that sheepish, I-don’t-know-anything-much-about-the-Internet look either.
If you’re on this blog, it’s likely you know your way around the web just fine pumpernickel. You do have a Facebook account right? A Twitter account? A Tumblr or WordPress page? A Blogger blog?
If you say yes to just one of these things, then you’re up enough on technology to do some damage with it. And when you learn how to use it properly, you’ll be able to do some major damage. So no more excuses please.
Btw, ever hear of viral marketing? Social media marketing? Social networking? Bless your poor heart if you haven’t, because you’ve been missing out on a huge game changer in the way you can promote your business… not to mention you can snag a nice chunk of market share in the online world when you learn how it works.
And there’s only one solution to this particular little conundrum. READ!
Read up and find out exactly what you can do to make your business grow using web-based technologies… no more excuses, no more waffling. Time to get serious before you lose that share of the market to your competition with nary even a miniscule iota of a struggle.
In other words, don’t let technology make you the bi-atch.
You have a horrid business location.
Ever heard that silly expression you say as a kid, “Up your bum and around the corner”? Well… that’s you and your business when you pick a shoddy location.
Seriously, think about this for a minute. What’s your fancily dolled-up shop doing smack dab in the middle of an exclusive residential area? Or right next to the state power dam? Or ew… the city dump?
What’s your office doing right next door to the neighbourhood crack shack?!
I mean geez… I understand the temptation to cut overhead as much as you can but I’m sorry… if your business depends AT ALL on foot traffic… if you have clients step over your threshold and into your lair… if you need to have people find you and even more; have people WANT to find you in order for your business to prosper… you need to consider your location and what it will do for you. (Or not do.)
That old saying “Location, location, location!” isn’t just “a saying”. In fact, even the best-managed businesses can fail simply because of an inappropriate location.
Put simply, your customers won’t head out to the middle of nowhere to get their T-shirts and coffee mugs custom-printed, nor will they be very trusting of the guy who operates next to the crack shack. And they definitely won’t appreciate having to visit you next to the local dump.
And if any of these locations is you… I’d suggest correcting that ASAP. (Look, your favorite word!)
In a nutshell?
Don’t make it hard, scary, or downright disgust-inspiring for your clients to reach you—instead pick a great location and be the first to extend your hand and ask them if they need any assistance. Once they see your swanky digs in that awesome location, they just might step across that threshold to get cozy with you.
In a strictly business sense of course. (Shame on you dirty!)