What is the key to a successful and long-lived business venture? There are many actually. It’s in the planning, in the execution, in the follow through. Any entrepreneur worth his/her salt will understand the components of a good-as-gold game plan and the importance of not veering from the course. And then there are those not-so-successful business founders, who set off into the vast world of entrepreneurship only to find that before they can truly get any sort of traction going, they inevitably disappear from the radar screen never to be seen or heard from again.
So why do some entrepreneurs fail where others succeed? What makes one business a bust and another a digital darling? A number of studies and surveys have been conducted into this very issue. The range of results tend to be quite matter-of-fact, nothing too terribly shocking there. From a solid marketing plan to a penchant for adaptability, the traits of a thriving entrepreneur versus a flailing one are, generally speaking, a matter of common sense.
Going too Far too Fast
When beginning a new business venture, excitement does tend to get the better of us. We’re amped up and ready to roll. Our expectations are beyond big. The problem with this early burst of entrepreneurial adrenalin is that it may skew our perception of the business-based reality. With foaming-at-the-mouth expectations and excitement levels measuring off the charts, the entrepreneur fails to see and appreciate the here and now of his/her business venture. Take your time, ensure that all steps are diligently followed, and always maintain your ability to see things for what they are, at the moment—build from there.
Marketing and Sales Woes
Your business is nothing if it can’t be found and if the right people don’t know about it. Especially for a business newbie, exposure is absolutely everything. This is why it is so critical to invest some of your startup capital into effective marketing and sales strategies. Fine tune that website, produce killer complementary marketing materials; shortchanging this aspect of your company is not smart and pretty much will only guarantee you an early entrepreneurial demise.
Failure to Pivot Properly
Okay so your idea is bulletproof, your product is stellar. But things aren’t progressing as you’d hoped. In fact, things are rather abysmal. Here is where the smart entrepreneur regroups and changes up the game plan a bit. This is when it is time to give it the old pivot. So what happens when you fail to appraise your circumstances properly and consequently stay on the same path—the one inevitably leading toward that blackhole known as bankruptcy…ultimately, you will fail. Recognize, regroup and relaunch!
This is perhaps the number one reason some entrepreneurs fall to the wayside. Whether investors, bank backing or partnerships, you need to have the capital to get your business off the ground. Money isn’t everything, but in the oft-times cut throat world of entrepreneurship, it’s pretty darn important. Make sure you have your proverbial ducks in a row when it comes to funding. Don’t just wish for that elusive money tree to appear—because odds are, it won’t. Be proactive when it comes to getting your business finances in order.
Not Giving the Competition Its Due
Understanding your competition before you launch your business is imperative. After all, this is your market sector, such that they have already created a foothold in. Knowing who the major players in your field are will help to paint a clearer picture of what you need to do in order to succeed. Simply dismissing the competition’s validity or subsequent strategies, is let’s just say, not the smartest move.
Lack of Resources
And by resources, I’m not strictly talking about capital and product, but people as well. A solid team that has experience in your particular market and that understands how to execute effectively is invaluable. The ability to harness the knowledge, creativity, soft skills and general capabilities of these human resources is ultimately what will make or break a company just starting out.
This one is pretty simple. You have an idea, you have a business plan in place, now focus, focus, focus! Where many go astray is in trying to do too much with a single entrepreneurial moment. Get the current concept off the ground and see it flourish, then start to think diversification. If you are trying to juggle a multitude of projects and a million different potential revenue channels, most likely you are going to end up with nothing. Chalk another one up to failure to focus.
You don’t have to see your entrepreneurial dreams dashed. Learn from the mistakes of others, follow the lead of those who have prevailed in the startup world. It’s all a matter of understanding what works and what doesn’t. You got this!