Have seen many business owners striving hard to start and run their business passionately as they can. Coming from a structured organization to start a business of your own does not guarantee success as there are many indices that adds up to make a business profitable neither is passion alone synonymous with business success nor having a great business idea automatically translates to huge profits.
I have worked in a business outfit that can be termed as successful but which eventually got grounded due to several factors, some of which will be identified here. Failing in business does not mean you cannot run another successful business if the lessons learnt is put into veritable use in subsequent ventures. The newly sworn United State president, Donald Trump failed and filed for bankruptcy more than once. Many small and start-up companies face various challenges in their quest for success. Making mistakes is part of the learning curve as it offers you the opportunity to learn, unlearn and re-learn in order to implement new procedures and ideas.
For SME owners, we often learn the technicality and practicality of running a business as we go. Some lessons can be learnt from the books while for others, you only learn the lesson on the spur of the moment especially when it turns out successful. Have you been in a situation where you have laid out all your plans for a particular goal and some extraneous factors not within your control took the reins and jeopardize all your plans and down goes all your projections as well as budget cutting resources? Welcome to a budding or start-up entrepreneur’s life.
SMEs, mostly especially startups are vulnerable, fragile with limited resources and a weak structure coupled with a volatile environment makes running such businesses a tedious one. As entrepreneurs, we can foresee some potential danger and put measures in place to address them. Such pitfalls are:
Don’t become a Jack of all Trade –
We have heard of this saying “Jack of all trade and master of none”. Don’t be everything to everyone in terms of your product or services. Be crystal clear about who is and who is not your customer. Have 100% clarity on what you are offering to your target market. You have thin resources (time, finance and labour) so you do not need to stretch and stress this while catering to a wide market. Focus on a NICHE and deploy your resources on doing your one thing and doing it better than anyone else, and you become king of your mountain with the world will beating a path to your door. Don’t be afraid about the business you think you are going to lose by being a specialist, stay focused.
Not Knowing Your Numbers:
Always remember to keep these three elements; what you own, what you owe and what you spend. It is a vicious cycle that can consume any great enterprise no matter the kind of structure or sales strategy in place if these three elements are ignored or you focus more on one over the other. Not keeping track and recording this whether through software or journal will eventually lead you on the path of failure. You must know all your incidental cost, what it takes to generate your product or service as there must be a cost computation to this. It is also essential for you to understand how much cash you have at all times and follow your budget if you have one even though it is imperative to have a budget for your business. Do not be afraid to cut cost if necessary.
Not Having a Team –
Many business owners think the business idea alone will build or make the company. According to Joe Zawadzki, your product or services is built by people. It’s the people who make a business successful. A team does not necessarily connote having more people than your business can manage. It simply means having the right number of people on board to complement your operations. Devote time to get the right people to work with you, mould them to your expectation so you can focus on the act of running your business and not the business running you.
Not being Accountable:
This is one of the major challenges of business owners since majority are harbingers of the business ideas. Not being accountable to your business and your employees stifle growth and hinder sustainability. You need to take personal responsibility for your words and actions all the time. Operate with total integrity on all fronts and walk the talk and be seen to do this. No matter how good your product or services are, let this value reflect in your dealings with your vendors, employees, customers and partners.
Are you a Small or start-up business owner? What business issues or woes have you faced and learnt from? Feel free to share.
Are you struggling on how to run your business successfully? Are you unable to articulate your vision and mission? Are you tired of your employees with no sense of direction and self initiative? Feel free to call.
Enjoy your week and feel free to call.
Business & Life Coach
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org