Nowadays almost everyone wants to be an entrepreneur and own a small business, and with powerful tools like the Internet, just about anyone can. However, we’ve all heard people say, “One in ten businesses fail.” Why do so many small businesses fail? Here are five reasons why your small business isn’t working out the way you planned, and a ground-level approach marketers can take to lift the business back on its feet:
1. You have no formal business or marketing plan:
By failing to plan, you are planning to fail. Your business and marketing plans should be neatly typed and on hard copy paper. They should be written yearly with quarterly goals that are measurable and attainable. Your plans will make sure you never miss anything and they will hold you more accountable, thus making you less likely to fail.
2. You didn’t do enough research or identify your competition:
If you didn’t do enough research or identify your competitors you are destined to fail. You should do in-depth industry and local research before becoming heavily invested in any idea or business. You also need to know your direct and indirect competitors because they are working 24/7 to crush you—you need to watch their every move.
3. You’re all over the place:
This is one of the most common mistakes entrepreneurs make. It’s easy to become full of ideas with no execution. Before you know it, you lose track of your last idea or fail to act on an existing idea. This is also why business and marketing plans are so important, you need them to keep you focused on your priorities or your business will never work. Focus, prioritize, make lists and learn to tell people no.
4. You’re too cheap to invest in essentials:
You’ll never be successful and things will never go as planned if you don’t invest in the essentials and basics of a small business in today’s world. Make sure you have: a high quality and professional logo, a website, business cards, flyers, etc.
5. You took a shortcut:
There are no shortcuts in business and this is 100% true. If it sounds too good, it probably is. Taking shortcuts can cost you in the long run and totally ruin your business. For example, failing to file taxes or business classifications, trade names, getting proper licenses, patents, and so on. These are careless moves that can cost you your entire business. If you’re unsure about legal and governmental issues, be sure to consult with a lawyer or CPA.
Many of these mistakes have a negative impact on the success of small businesses. As marketers we have the opportunity to help small businesses through big picture plans such as competitive research and by assisting with important collateral such as marketing materials, market research and the development of marketing plans.
Endrit Kosta is an entrepreneur and marketing consultant. He owns
. He received his MBA from Baldwin Wallace University in 2013.