Reality: According to the SBA, 63% of all small businesses fail in the first 5 years.
OUCH! It sounds harsh, but it’s true. And having been in business for over 6 years, I can tell you I’ve seen many colleagues go the way of “have to get a job” in order to put food on the table and take care of their families.
And the sad part, many of those businesses could have succeeded. It’s generally not a lack of ideas, technology is rarely the issue and with the low cost of doing business online, it’s often not money.
The top reasons most small businesses fail are:
1. Lack of vision and systematic strategy — what’s the long-term (you decide what this means) vision for your business and how are you going to get there?
2. Lack of marketing system — many business owners spend so much time reinventing the wheel around trying to get new clients that they either burn out or focus too much time on the “getting new ones” and not enough on the “serving existing ones”. Do you have a marketing system in place?
3. Lack of a client follow-up system — once clients are in the door, do you take care of them? Do you practice Extreme Client Care(tm)? Do you listen to them and create the products and programs they’re asking for?
4. Trying to do too many things at once — many entrepreneurs pride themselves on being “great multitaskers”. Our brains can’t multitask, they “task switch”. . .from this to that and back to this. And, as a result, neither task gets done as quickly, or as well, as if we’d simply focused on one at a time.
5. Doing everything ad-hoc without any systems — while it’s so easy for us to say “I don’t have time to create a system, I just need to get it done now”, truth is, without systems, you’re the one “doing it” all the time — unable to hand anything over to a support team. And this creates something far worse than a 9-to-5 job.
And I’d add the following. . .
* Not having a big enough reason “why” — that “thing” which pulls you forward when you’re otherwise tempted to quit. Hint. . .it’s rarely “money” by itself, it’s usually what that money can do for you/your family.
Make It Real: My Request To You
Review the 5 bullets above and ask yourself — is your business set up for success? Remembering that this is the basis of a successful business, systems and planning will only take you so far, strategic implementation is key!
And for those days when you just “don’t feel like it”, is your “why” big enough, strong enough to pull you forward to accomplishment?
I’m known for a simple statement: “Ordinary things, done consistently, bring extraordinary AND consistent results!”
What ordinary things are you doing consistently?
If you’re unsure or if you feel you’re being pulled in a thousand different directions, wondering what to focus on when for the most sustainable results, go . . .you’ll be glad you did. 🙂