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Top 5 Reasons Businesses Fail

Updated: Jan 31

by Nicole Langlois | May 22, 2019 | Business Tips, Coworking, EPIC Entrepreneurs, Inspirational

The top 5 reasons businesses fail are not only avoidable, but when conquered will help your business to not just survive but truly thrive!

1. No Compass

If you don’t know where you’re going or how to get there, you will most likely just keep moving in circles.

It's important to have a very clear vision of what success looks like to you and to set specific goals and benchmarks to get there.

When you know where you are going then you can make a “MAP”.

Try getting creative with this process…. meditation, a vision board, journaling, or brainstorming ideas and goals with a peer.

After you have your vision or picture, you want to get very specific with measurable and clearly defined action steps. Identifying your goals, the steps you need to take to get there, and then how to track them will keep you focused and on target. 

2. Weak Foundation

Having a good foundation isn’t just about a business plan, although a good business plan is important too. You just want to make sure it’s a plan that works for you and actually has a purpose...we like to call this a business map.  (see our business map blog)

Minecraft for the Nintendo Switch, the Verge

A good foundation means having structure, an accountability system, solid policies and procedures, and good systems for your business.

As you grow your business, of course you are going to have a mix of “building the plane as you fly it” and being structured and proactive.  It’s important to know when and how to focus on putting your systems in place. 

 Discipline = Freedom   Having a strong discipline and structure in your business will relieve overwhelm and stress. It takes some time and hard work in the beginning but is a major game changer. Getting support can really help to keep you accountable and get you on track.

Tip: When creating your block schedule, be sure to block in time for yourself FIRST. Know what is most important and make sure you are realistic about what you can get done.  

3. Poor Communication

The first key to good communication is listening. Do you take the time to really know your customer’s true needs and desires? So many new businesses make the mistake of having an idea they feel so passionate about but don’t take the time to listen to their client/customer.

Another place to be super clear is in your messaging. Are you communicating clearly what it is you do, offer, or solve? What messages are you sending in your branding, marketing, and how you talk to your customer/potential customer?

Communication within your company is also crucial to your growth. A well oiled machine needs clearly articulated and presented core values and work culture. It's also important o know what everyone’s expectations are as well as their roles and responsibilities.

Regular meetings (even if it’s with yourself in the beginning) and check-ins can be a great place to start. 

4. Failure to learn from Failure

“The greatest teacher, failure is.”–Master Yoda (Star Wars)

Not learning from your mistakes is such a missed opportunity.

Every time you have a “failure” you have a chance to turn that into a new policy, a revised business plan, a new goal, and of course, a lesson learned. 

As you grow your business not only will your mistakes help develop your policies and procedures but it will help you to learn what you want and don’t want. It can help you narrow your target market, decide who you want to work with (or not),where you want to allocate your resources, spend your time and focus and develop a checks and balance for your company. 

Essential to your growth, failure is! ~says Yoda ;-)

5. Doing it Alone

Picture: DreamWorks Pictures

Don’t try to do it all yourself!  There are so many resources out there to help you. (SBDC, SCORE, WEDC, a good business coach, (wink wink) a mentor, your peers.....lean on your community!

It’s important to know what you're good at and where you need help. Most of us go into business because we are good at whatever we went into business for.  That does not mean we know how to do everything else.  A good baker can open a bakery and make a mean pie…that doesn’t mean they know how to balance their books, do the marketing, or design their webpage. 

Know when to hire the right employees or contractors to help you, when to get a mentor or coach, what to invest in...we know it can be scary in the beginning, but sometimes spending money can end up saving you more in the long run.

The good news is….you can do this!  The Hudson Valley is rich with resources, support and talent. So many small businesses and entrepreneurs are thriving and you can too! 

Design a Practice for your Business to THRIVE.

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