Avoiding Business Failure
How to avoid your business failing
Most businesses fail in the first 5 years with a huge impact on all stakeholders. From those which survive 80 % fail in the next 5 years. Owning and running a business which beat those odds and succeed is a difficult thing to achieve. However you can increase your chance dramatically by becoming a great small business owner by ensuring you follow a few key strategies.
Ensure your business aligns with your life purpose
Once you have thought sufficiently to have a written life purpose (the importance of this is stressed in our introduction workshops) you should make sure you identify how exactly your business aligns with that purpose. This is essential to provide you with the long term drive and energy required to make your business a success. Running your own business takes a lot more energy that is required from most employees and failure has a bigger impact emotionally and financially that losing a job.
I remember many years ago when employed at a Bank I used to get the Sunday evening blues thinking about going into work after having had a brilliant weekend. Eventually, I had the sense to leave and carve out my own business. Not having enthusiasm for your work and business is a path to a miserable life. Reminding yourself every day about why you do what you do is essential to maintaining high energy levels and avoid your business failing.
Your business is not you
Although it should ideally be deeply aligned with your life purpose, you should always be more than your business. You will encounter setbacks which have to be conquered. Beating yourself up for short term failures does not help you fix the problems. If you look at your business as a huge challenge you have set yourself and any setbacks as simply a learning experience, you will be better equipped to move forward quickly. Looking at your business as just one part of your life allows you to build greater life balance and not be too reliant on it to give you everything you need.
Improving the business
Most of us started our business to give us more satisfaction, more wealth and more time. These are not likely to happen unless you ensure you mark out time in your diary on a weekly basis to spend on improving your business rather than simply working in it. Improving the business and in the long term making yourself redundant to the business should be the long term aim of all business owners. If you are not needed but still choose to work in your business that’s fine. However, a business that does not need you by definition gives you more time off and is worth considerably more to a potential buyer.
Taking time out to actively look for ways to improve your business is the essential strategy that will make a huge long term difference in your life
Building great systems
To avoid your business failing everything in your business should be done according to a written process. Yes, I mean everything. When things go wrong in a business, it is rarely the people but the systems they are using which are at fault. Using this mentality, every time something goes wrong don’t blame your team but instead ask “ What went wrong with the system and why? Tweak the system to help ensure it does not happen again. This way, everything the business does, gets done in an ever increasing, more effective and efficient manner. Once a year at least review the steps and procedures of all systems to make sure they are still effective.
Building a great team
If you do it all yourself you will always have to do it all yourself. Eventually it will run you down or you will have to settle for less success that you want. Invest in great people, train them well, let them help you to build great systems and support you when things get tough.
Use your task list to weekly do a review of everything you spend your time doing. Ask your self – Was doing that task the best use of my time? If not, is it possible to delegate to someone else. Yes, it may take a long time to train someone but in the long term it will pay off in saving you time for more profitable or enjoyable tasks.
Never be satisfied – continual and never ending improvement
There are no successful companies that do not have this mind set built into their culture. This is not an option and there is no status quo – You are either growing and improving or dying- even if you do not see it yet.
Regular reviewing of all systems, processes, activities and people to aim to at least make tiny incremental gains is what keeps it both interesting and leads to greater levels of success.
Don’t reinvent the wheel
Nearly everyone who owns a small business has never had any training in how to run a successful business. No wonder 80% fail. Think about it – Would you try and do anything difficult and complicated which has a big impact on your life without training? It doesn’t make any sense – yet many business owners go about their daily business wondering why it is not as successful as they had hoped.
Investing time and money in joining a coaching program for ideas, help and support is a worthwhile and sensible strategy.
If you had a good friend starting out in their own business and knowing what you know now after years of hard won experience -would you not advise them to get good training to avoid their business failing? So why doesn’t that apply to you to improve your business?
Enjoy the journey.
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