Six Ways Business Failure Is About Not Making A Stand
The final knock-out blow for a business is well before the money and momentum runs dry.
According to Bloomberg 80% of businesses who start with the best intentions will go out of business within the first 18 months. Whilst the money that will run-out will lead to the eventual demise, the flaws happen well before the days of ceasing to trade. It comes down to not making a stand for something.
Business Failure Is About Not Carving Your Place
Long-term survival in a digital economy is down to figuring out how to carve your own space within your industry. Telling a better story than your competition is imperative to your longevity and to achieve this we need to delve a bit deeper. To survive, adapt and grow we need to look at some key areas:
- understand your customer and the problems that need solving, the pressure points they currently have and the dreams that they are looking to achieve for their business (and themselves). We need to understand what matters to them and tailor the stories that we create for a particular audience.
- once you can provide an answer to a solution you need to make a commitment to sharing this message and your knowledge with others, rather than bottling up and opening on special occasions. Whatever tone of voice that you use (friendly, conversational, matter of fact) you need to be clear about who you are, why you do what you do and how you can help others. As the ability to share content increases, the more of a reason to become established as an influencer.
- realise the ease and ability to create a business means that there is an ocean of other businesses who look and act the same. There is far too much noise at the moment and social channels exacerbate the ease to pump content onto timelines and newsfeeds. The answer is to find something that is inherently yours and to stick to that way of thinking.
- find your niche and claim your position. One thing you cannot become is everyone’s friend and think that your sole purpose is to keep everyone happy. You need to understand the niche within your industry and build on what is relevant.
- take responsibility for what happens to your business, it’s got nothing to do with anyone else. When watching ‘Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares’ when Gordon Ramsey spends each visit with a restaurant that has taken a spectacular nosedive and on it’s knees with money owned and family relationships in tatters, the lesson every week is that it’s the business owner who is 100% responsible for what has happened to the business and the rocky path it had been taken down, before someone else is called in to turn things around. We cannot cling to the ‘it’s the recession’ excuse anymore (or the chef in ‘Kitchen Nightmares’), it is a tired old excuse.
- understand that you can’t micromanage and the naivety that you can do everything. I spoke to a company who were looking for a helping hand with their marketing and when it came to the message and creative delivery (as well as the sales effort), the marketing manager said ‘well, I look after all of that.’ You cannot think that all the answers lie with one person, we have to delegate to those that are better at certain areas than we are. Similarly, you have to be involved, as opposed to thinking that because the business is functioning and holding on, you can spend half the week doing other things completely away from the business.
If you would like to follow up a bit more and read what other businesses say, we created the If You Could Go Back project and asked 20 local business owners if they could go back to the start of their business careers what three things would they suggest to their younger self to become successful. Click here for the guide,