It takes a lot of courage to start a business. Entrepreneurship is a leap of faith and there are days when your passion and desire to succeed are the only things propelling your forward. There is a dire statistic that states, 50% of all new businesses fail within 5 years. Well if that’s true then 50% also make it through the challenging times and become the stuff of legend. If you want to go the distance, avoid these seven traps that are the cause of the most business failures:
Not Investing The Time
Coming up with a business idea is the easy part. Investing the time into making it a reality is the difficult part. Successful founders are those who get up early and stay late to work on their businesses and spend the time required to take their company a little further each day. Steve Jobs was reported to only sleep 4 hours a day and Martha Stewart and Melissa Mayer get about 4-6 hours of shut eye a night. You don’t need to go to that extreme, but do need to be focused on dedicating prime working hours to making your business successful over the long term.
Here is one area that trips up a lot of entrepreneurs and solopreneurs. There is such a thing as funneling too much money into your business. Booking a profit for a few months in a row or securing an investor is no a reason to double or triple spending, overextending your company. Keep your cash outlays within reason and invest smartly in one growth area at a time.
To quote a bad pun, “you can’t make an omelet without cracking some eggs.” Being an entrepreneur and building a business takes money. You either have to invest the money yourself and/or convince others to invest. Either way, you need to ensure that you have the cash flow to keep your business floating from month to month. Be willing to make personal sacrifices, especially in the early stages of creating your company, so you’ll have enough funds to get all the right resources in place.
Having a Bad idea/Bad Product/Bad Service
This failure tends to occur either because the business owner didn’t test their product before launching or failed to continue to test their service after sales started. Don’t fall into the trap of believing, “if you build it they will come.” Whatever you are selling needs to be good and needs to solve a problem shared by a lot of people. Take the time to test your offering on as many people as possible before you do a full launch and continue to get feedback from clients after you launch.
Trying To Cheat Your Way To The Top
If the great ‘Instagram Purge of 2014′ taught us anything it was that the truth always comes to light when you’re a brand. Don’t try to cheat your way to success by posting fake reviews or “buying influence,” such as Twitter or Instagram followers to make your service look more popular than it is. An even quicker way to fail is to make claims about your service or product that you can’t prove. Spend the time cultivating a brand and company built on integrity and your clients will stick with you for the long haul.
Letting Others Demotivated You
There is a difference between listening to someone give you honest negative feedback and listening to someone give you negativity. Negative feedback can be used to make your company better and more relevant. Negative energy on the other hand serves no productive purpose in your business. You need to learn early to tune out naysayers and “haters” and focus on constructive criticisms that will help you succeed.
Jumping Ship too Early
One of my favorite business quotes has always been Thomas Edison’s, “many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” That is not to say that you should hang onto a business that isn’t working, but rather that you shouldn’t jump ship the first time things get a little tough. Sometimes the difference between failure and success is effort.
There are a lot of factors that play into making a company successful or a tale of caution. Some are out of your control, but you should take the time to focus on the areas that you can control. Use these 7 failure tips as a guide to help avoid the big business pitfalls and create a company that will have its doors open for years to come.
– à bientôt
Charell Star | A Girl In A Dress