6 Reasons Your Business Hasn’t Gotten a Big Break
You have a great idea. You just know it’s going to take the world by storm. This is your moment, when you are finally going to break through and succeed as an entrepreneur. No, wait, scratch that: You are going to be the most successful entrepreneur.
Before you start practicing your pose for the cover of Fortune magazine, it’s time for a bit of a reality check. The fact is, 50 percent of the more than 500,000 small businesses started every month fail within the first year. Within five years, that number jumps to 95 percent. That’s right: nine out of 10 businesses never actually get off the ground. Sometimes, failure is just a result of bad luck. Other times? It’s because the entrepreneur made some big mistakes along the way. If your new business is floundering — or even if you are thinking about starting a business and want to give it a fighting chance — consider these common reasons for failing enterprises.
1. The Timing Isn’t Right
Timing is everything when it comes to a successful business. Launch your company too early, and the market may not be ready for you yet. Wait too long, and there is likely to be someone else doing something similar already. Not to mention, you need to consider overall market trends, trends in demographics, and the overall level of competition out there. You also need to consider the timing for you personally. Is it the right time for you to launch a business? Are you 100 percent fully committed to your endeavor, and full of the passion and drive necessary to make it succeed? If not, then you might have to wait a bit longer for your big break.
2. Your Expectations Are Too High
A positive attitude is an important attribute for an entrepreneur. However, you also need to be realistic in your expectations, and understand that things may not always go your way. Psychologists have identified three ways in which expectations can torpedo your best efforts. First, when you focus too much on not making mistakes, you are likely to miss the opportunities and success that can come with taking a risk. Second, trying to force every situation to meet your unrealistic expectations can cause you to appear desperate, which can drive customers away. Finally, high expectations often lead to attempts to control things that can’t be controlled, which causes frustration and other problems. Bottom line? Keep your expectations in check, follow your plan, and be willing to take risks sometimes.
Anyone can get a business license and hang out a shingle. But without the knowledge of how to run a business — and an intimate knowledge of your business — you won’t be hanging that shingle for long. Plenty of successful entrepreneurs have made it without formal business education, but many of them will also tell you that getting that insight and experience would have made things a lot easier. So, if you are struggling, do some research to find the best online university for an MBA and take some courses to fill in the gaps. You’ll be better prepared, and more confident, when your break does come.
4. You Don’t Have the Right Tools
Even when you are starting your business on a shoestring budget, you need to invest in the right tools and equipment to do the job. In other words, your 10-year-old desktop computer probably isn’t going to cut it when you’re trying to manage an online business. Honestly assess what you need to make the business a success, whether it’s upgraded technology, more staff, a better social media presence, or something else, and make it happen.
5. You Have the Wrong Focus
Entrepreneurs must be focused. However, far too many are focused on being perfect, and that can harm their business. Perfectionism can be a good thing in some cases, but for many entrepreneurs, it also means not taking risks, not being flexible, taking too long to get things done, and frustrating employees. Instead of striving for perfection, make priorities, and go for practicality, and focus on meeting customer needs.
6. Your Idea Isn’t Good
Finally, sometimes businesses fail simply because the idea isn’t a good one. It’s disappointing and frustrating, but not every business idea is going to be a winner. You may just need to accept that, cut your losses, dust yourself off, and try again.
Entrepreneurship isn’t for the faint of heart, and it certainly isn’t for anyone who fears failure. However, if you understand your chances when you open your business, and work on avoiding the most common mistakes, you are already ahead of the game.