Starting a new business is hard work. The odds of success are not exactly in your favor. More than 50 percent of small businesses fail in the first four years.
During this time, your small business is most vulnerable. It doesn’t have an established customer base, and the business plan remains unproven. In many cases, capital is in short supply.
In this guide, we explore the top 6 reasons for failed businesses. Read on to learn how to avoid the unfortunate fate of many startups.
1. Demand for Your Service or Product Is Insufficient
Just because you discover a great idea doesn’t mean that there is a market demand for it. This is the most difficult facet of starting a business – determining that a profitable market exists for the product or service. In a survey of failed businesses, 42 percent reported that there was insufficient demand for the product or service getting introduced.
Before starting a business, make sure that your business plan thoroughly covers market demand. This entails researching competitive products and services in the local vicinity.
Social media is a great tool to gauge interest in your startup. Use platforms like Facebook to see what the market is for the proposed business.
You can join local community pages on Facebook to interact with the potential customer base. You’ll find out if there’s enthusiasm for the business idea. You’ll also be pleasantly surprised at the constructive feedback that community members will provide.
2. You Lack the Financial Resources to Do It Right
After a lack of market demand, a shortage of capital resources is the second most likely reason for failed businesses. 29 percent of failed businesses said money issues were the primary culprit.
Having enough cash flow is a necessity to get a business off the ground. You need enough funds to staff the business, buy inventory and equipment, and advertise it. These are a few examples of the many financial obligations of running a new business.
Like determining market demand, this circles back to the development of your business plan. How do you plan to raise the money to fund the startup? Are you using personal funds, securing financing, or raising money from venture capitalists?
Estimating future business expenses is another critical facet of your business plan. Put together a detailed cost estimate to ensure you can raise enough funds for business operations.
3. Failure to Hire the Right People
Hiring ineffective staff is often listed as another reason for failure. In these cases, the small business owner hires individuals without the proper qualifications or skill set.
Another reason behind inefficient staff is hiring individuals that are too like-minded to the owner. Studies show that a diverse workforce is the most likely to succeed.
Contrary to popular opinion, diversity does not just refer to race or gender. It also means creating a staff drawn from different backgrounds and locations.
The goal is for the business to achieve diversity of thought. This achievement gets met when a business relies on different skills and experiences that these individuals bring to the table.
Doing so helps to develop an effective business model that can meet the expectations of the 21st century. But hiring a workforce of like-minded individuals can hold the business back.
4. Failure to Lead
No matter how good the staff is, it requires a wise and thoughtful leader to steer the ship. If you’re deficient in a particular area, it’s up to you to correct it.
As the owner, there is no one to hold you accountable except yourself. It is imperative to own up to all shortcomings and to improve the business by finding solutions to every problem.
The leader needs to set achievable objectives and put a strategy in place for meeting them. Not only should the business owner focus on the short-term, but emphasis must be placed on the long-term as well. This means anticipating the future and planning accordingly.
5. Ineffective Marketing Campaign
Without an effective marketing campaign, your startup cannot reach new customers. In addition, existing customers are harder to keep without staying connected.
Many startups fail to advertise because their budgets are tight in the beginning. They don’t realize that social media is a cheap way to reach the local community.
Many social media platforms are free to sign up for and operate. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram, for example, allow you to interact with potential and existing customers.
You can also pay a small fee to advertise on these platforms. These advertisement campaigns get targeted to the local community and appear on their timelines.
6. Poor Communication Skills
Failed businesses are notorious for poor communication with both partners and customers. This failure goes hand in hand with the inability to use social media effectively.
Social media gives you an efficient and cost-effective way to interact with customers. The feedback provided by consumers on social media is invaluable, and you should factor it into your business strategy.
Unfortunately, many owners get tunnel vision and are far too focused on the initial business model. This is always a major mistake, as customer opinion is critical.
By accommodating customer feedback, you’re more likely to retain existing customers. You can also correct shortcomings that are obvious to an outsider but not to management.
Failed Businesses – Wrapping It Up
The odds of failure when starting up a business are high. It’s difficult to raise the proper amount of funding and hire an effective staff. The good news is that you can avoid common business failures by being aware of them.
The keys to success lie in extensive planning and remaining open to constructive feedback from outsiders. We can help.
Visit our process to find out what we can do for you.