Sometimes an answer enters your mind at the weirdest times.
I regularly get involved in discussions on LinkedIn and Twitter. Last week, National Small Business Week, there was enough small business survival information to fill volumes of e-books to keep someone reading for a lifetime.
All this information made me start to think. If you are reading this post, more than likely you are a small business owner or work for one. Do you worry about failure? I do. That thought has probably crossed my mind at least once per day over the past thirty years.
Getting back to my comment on small business information survival, why does failure happen? Why is the failure rate of small business so high?
There is simply not one reason I can pin point for small business failure. I simply cannot find an argument from any of the comments I have heard or read about small business failure that I would say is number one.
Yes cash flow is a common comment, but I think this is more of an excuse.
Small business failure is a lot like marketing your business. In a small business you deal with people. There are many different types of people. People may change from one day to another. Trying to determine what makes people tick, is not easy. Just like marketing a small business.
I have met with thousands of small business owners in my career. I’ve seen many different reasons for failure. Here are some of my points to ponder which entered my mind, and yes, at a strange time is a good guess.
1) Prepare for change. It's going to happen. 2) Pay strict attention to the financials. Some of the most successful businesses have a lot of capital. You can’t succeed undercapitalized. 3) There are a lot of people smarter than you. There are usually gems in a group of employees that can propel you into the next business level. You may need to bring it out of them. 4) Care as much as you can about your customers. Segment them into groups. There may be many groups. How do they use your product and services, is a good start.
5) Innovation is usually an offset of customer collaboration. 6) Don’t market for the sake of marketing. See above. Your customers will tell you all you need to know to do marketing right. 7) Ask for professional help. A lot of times, it pays to hire an outsider to do a job than doing it yourself. 8) Customers are money. You need both to succeed.
There are many more I could add to the list, but these are all my number one things to do to survive. There is one other one I did forget. It’s hard work, but you already know that.
Last year I wrote an article for a local publication on being a successful small business. You can find the article on my MarketingDocI blog.
Please share and let me know what you think.
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