Creating a business from scratch is tough. Getting it to succeed is even tougher. According to Forbes Magazine, eight out of every ten entrepreneurs fail after only a year in business. But those other two, what makes them different from the others? Whether you want to manufacture the latest gadget or bring a service into the business world no one has considered before, there are important lessons to be learned from these statistics.
While most experienced business leaders will agree that the seeds of that failure were probably in the mix from the beginning, there are some telltale signs early on. It isn’t always about what those two out of ten are doing right. It might also be what those other eight are doing wrong. Here are a few key reasons that so many new businesses see themselves hanging up an “Out of Business” sign within the first year of operations.
Probably the biggest reason any business is struggling is that they have not found a good way to connect in a meaningful way with their customers. Although there are great software programs out there to help with this such as Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 sales application to help staff connect, not everyone knows about these tools.
There are some smart companies out there that can help a small business find the right kind of software to improve sales productivity and organization, AltaPeople being a great example of this. The smart business owner uses every tool at their disposal to find new ways to connect with clients in a way that is both meaningful and honest. When the creative mind behind the new product or service reaches out with that sales staff to the customers, something magical happens. Your customers begin to connect at a personal level. That is the first big key to success.
How Is What You Offer Different?
In today’s high pressure market, you need to stand out from the crowd. It also means that whatever service or product you have on offer, it needs to be unique or in some way offer far more than what is already out there. There are some tough questions that need to be answered even before you go into business when it comes to this problem.
With probably hundreds of competitors, how does you stack up? How is it better, different or solves a problem no one else’s product can solve. If you can’t differentiate yourself in the marketplace, how can your customers do it? Learn about what a “value proposition” is and find out how it connects to you and your company. Otherwise you may find yourself slowly sinking into the sunset and your business dies a long slow death.
Leadership – Not Isolation
If this is your business, founded by your ideas, are you in there with the others in the business leading them to success? All too often we see leadership dysfunction when a company starts to grow and the leaders no longer truly lead. Now is not the time to sit back on your laurels and count on everything continuing to move smoothly up.
Smart decisions, good leadership and the ability to work harder when the chips are down are what make great companies. It is up to you, the leader of the pack and instigator of this mess to clean it up, get it going right again and lead the company from failure to success. Own it.