Why Your Business Is Likely To Fail…

Ok, not the cheeriest of subjects to be talking about, I’ll admit, but the fact is that 8 out 0f 10 businesses will fail within the first 18 months. Having a business is like having a tiny, delicate plant. You planted the seed of an idea, it sprouted – which is exciting! – and now you’re nurturing and caring for it in the hope that it will bring forth the blooms you deserve.

But it’s a delicate operation, isn’t it? Too much or not enough water could kill it…is it getting enough sunlight? Should you re-pot it? Is it big enough to plant outside?…I mean, if a bad frost comes it’s, in a word, f*****d.

Knowing that 80% of businesses fail in the first two years is a scary and heartbreaking statistic for entrepreneurs – and no matter how cracking you think your idea is, or how well your business is doing right off the bat, you can’t deny that the thought of failing has crossed your mind.

The key to being one of the 20% of businesses that actually go the distance, is keeping a lookout for weaknesses in your business, and finding a way to fix the problem.

In this blog, I’m going to take a look at the 3 most common reasons that businesses might find themselves struggling to stay afloat – and what the simple solution is.

Let’s dive straight in…

1. Not having enough cash

I mean, it’s a fairly obvious one isn’t it, but it’s vital for any business to succeed that it knows how the money is coming in and when – after all, you can’t pay your bills in buttons.

When it comes to running a business, cash really is King or Queen! Even the most successful business is going to struggle if all of their money is tied up in unpaid invoices – the difference with a start-up is that it’s going to hit you harder and faster!

So, how do you fix it? It’s not like you can pull cash from thin air is it!

Keeping an eye on your cash flow is the answer; make sure you run a really tight ship when it comes to what’s going and coming out, and have good strategies in place for making sure that invoices are paid promptly – like sending the bloody things out on time.

2. Not Marketing Yourself Well

It’s all too easy to land your first few clients (especially if you’ve managed to get a couple of big ones in your net!), and then get a bit lax in the marketing department.

No need to keep bothering with a social media presence or an email campaign now you’ve got customers, is there? You can ease up on all that now, surely?

If that’s what you think then congratulations, it’s probably the wrongest you’ve ever been.

Customers and clients don’t just appear out of thin air just because you’ve set up shop. In the beginning, you’re going to get friends and family promoting you, and a certain amount of word of mouth, but to be really successful you’re going to have to go beyond that.

Don’t start stressing out thinking that now you have to go and set up business pages on every social media platform that’s out there. The trick is to do some research on which marketing platforms are going to suit your business best in terms of targeting customers, and then just commit to those.

Much better to just have an Instagram page that you post to daily and that gets good engagement, than to have a FB page no one follows, a TikTok you don’t have a clue what to do with or a Twitter account you’ve forgotten the password to.

But seriously, whatever route you go down, market the hell out of yourself. Always.

3. Not Having A Business Plan

Not having a business plan is one of the biggest mistakes any business can make. If you haven’t written down in detail, and communicated clearly to anyone else involved in the business, what you want to achieve and how you plan to achieve it, it’s literally a recipe for failure.

The fix is simple. Write a business plan. Get professional help if necessary – but for the love of god make sure that you set out concrete business goals for the next 12 months so that you can measure your success as you go, and head off any problems that might arise now or in the future.

Your business plan isn’t a one-off ‘there, it’s done’ type thing. Your plan should be updated and added to constantly as you and your business evolve.

So, there it is, peeps – three of the top reasons that new businesses fail in the first 18 months.

The great news is, they are all easy problems to solve with a bit of forward planning and, dare I say it, common sense. Let’s face it, not all entrepreneurs are going to be business-minded, and that’s ok…make use of all the resources that are out there, and then go ahead and plant that seed.

Why not check out my next course…https://elevey.co.uk/business-planning-101-with-sally-brady/

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