Why Many Small Businesses Fail
There are many factors that can lead up to the failure of a small business. A small business may fail because the economy is bad, or because the business was mismanaged, or maybe because it was in the wrong location. Knowing what to beware of will greatly increase your business's chances of success.
Failure to plan is planning to fail. When it comes to business, that statement could not be more true. Too many small business owners fail to start with a plan. A business plan is your roadmap to success. It may change slightly as time goes by, but the basic plan should remain the same. The business plan should be referred to often to make sure that the business is on track with the goals that were set for it before it even started.
Lack of experience on the part of the business owner is another common reason why a small business might fail. If the business owner has never owned or managed a business in the past, he or she should take business courses before starting a business, and work with business mentors to ensure the success of the business. Working with other professionals, such as a business lawyer and accountant will also help, because they can teach the business owner as time passes.
Insufficient operating capital is a huge concern for many business owners, and another common reason for small business failure. When getting financing to open the business, borrow enough money to cover operating expenses for at least the first three to six months, and longer if possible. Keep costs down to a bare minimum until the business starts turning a profit. At that point, pour a portion of the profits back into the business, and set aside at least 10% of the profits to save for a rainy business day.
There are many things a business owner simply will not know about until the situation arises, such as seasonal increases and decreases in sales. During the first year, keep a careful record of what items are moving, and what items are not moving. Update this record weekly or monthly, and use it as a guide for the following years to help you know when to mark down certain items, and when to order more of other items. Failure to pay attention to these trends can cause a business to fail.
In order for your business to have competition, you actually have to be competing. If you do not pay attention to what your competitors are doing, and you fall behind in the quality of your customer service and pricing, your competition will surpass you and the contest is over. 'Keeping up with the Joneses' is vital for small businesses.
Holding onto old methods of doing business or marketing is a common reason for the failure of older small businesses. These business owners are used to the old ways and don't want to make changes. They fail to make their businesses more efficient, they fail to up-date equipment, they fail to keep up with marketing trends, and they fail to realize that holding onto their outdated methods is killing their business.
There are too many reasons why a small business might fail to list, but paying attention to what is going on in your business, working with professionals and dealing with problems quickly will help you avoid failure. No matter what your business is, or how big or small it is, make sure that you stay active in the business to prevent others from running your business into the ground. Nobody has a bigger interest in the success of a business than the business owner.
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