Over the past few weeks we've been reviewing a lot of businesses, for those who purchased the business audit and strategic plan (If you haven't had your business audited yet, you can still request one - Just click here).
The most common reasons why your business may be failing:
1. You start your business for the wrong reasons.
What's the main reason why you're starting or want to start a business? Is it solely for money? Do you want to make a difference in the world? Do you have a BETTER product or service than the ones currently out? Do you bring something unique to the market?
Most small businesses fail because business owner are only focusing on the money. Money means a lot, YES of course, but money should not be the sole reason for running a business. If you have no passion for the business you are trying to run, you will not get far. Why are you going to want to go out of your way to do things for your business if you have no interest in it? Furthermore, why should PEOPLE pay for your product/service if you don't even like or care for it. Online clothing store and hair extension boutiques seem to be the the most popular business people want to run these days. Are you jumping on a bandwagon? Do you just want the title of a business owner or do you actually want to build an empire?
2. Poor Management.
New business owners frequently lack relevant business and management expertise in areas such as finance, purchasing, selling, production, and hiring and managing employees. Unless they recognize what they don't do well, and seek help, business owners may soon face disaster. Most business owners are finally realizing how important it is to stay educated in their field of business and invest in online coaching.
3. Lack of Planning.
Anyone who has ever been in charge of a successful major event knows that were it not for their careful, methodical, strategic planning -- and hard work -- success would not have followed. The same could be said of most business successes. It is critical for all businesses to have a business plan or some type of outline to organize business goals and plans. Many small businesses fail because of fundamental shortcomings in their business planning. Most bankers request a business plan if you are seeking to secure addition capital for your company.
4. No website.
In the U.S. alone, the number of internet users (approximately 77 percent of the population) and e-commerce sales ($165.4 billion in 2010, according to the US Department of Commerce) continue to rise and are expected to increase with each passing year.
Social media apps are great for gaining customer customer engagement and creating brand awareness, however you can't receive payment via such apps. I website is critical to not only maintaining payment and sales, but also to maintain professionalism.
5. Failure to market online.
If you're not marketing online, you're not selling as much as you could be. According to Invesp, 80% of Internet users have used the Internet to make a purchase. Additionally, 81% of Internet users research products online before making a purchase. In order for your business to thrive, your business must be visible to consumers doing their online research and shopping. SEO work, social media marketing, and cross-selling between all communication channels are all absolutely crucial to increasing online visibility.
6. Failing to track and measure your marketing efforts.
Web analytic tools can provide you with valuable market research and insight. Use Google Analytics to see which activities generate traffic to your business, which campaigns generate the most income, locate which countries your visitors or from, how long visitors stay on your website, which page on your website generates the most visitors, and so much more! Being able to measure your online business in action allows you to improve user experience, discover trends among your customers, and boost your numbers.
7. Failing to listen to your customers.
Give your customers an easy and immediate way to interact with you online. They can give you feedback about your product, pricing, and business practices. In turn, you give them a "chat level" of response that can turn into an ongoing relationship. Your quick and helpful responses to your customers' feedback and reviews will impress both your current customers and potential customers--those who are looking into online reviews to determine if they want to use your business.
By eliminating these seven risk factors, you're well on your way to success without falling victim to the intimidating 80% fail rate of small businesses in their first year of operation. Have you experienced any of these practices in your own business? How did you resolve them?
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