If you want to succeed in business, you have to learn how to prevent failures. You should not only be excited in thinking about achieving success, but you should also be alert and be prepared to avoid disasters. One of the most important lessons a business person or entrepreneur should learn is to not repeat the mistakes committed by other people. So if you want to become a successful business person or entrepreneur, learn how to avoid the following 15 common business failures that would destroy your business and ruin your entrepreneurial dreams.
1. Starting without knowledge and passion
Don’t start a business that you don’t know, understand, and you are not passionate about. If you start a business just because it is what’s hot now or it’s where money are pouring in now, but you are not enthusiastic about it and or not expert about it, then expect troubles to come in the future. Starting a business you’re not expert about will make you unable to produce and provide high-quality and highly competitive products to your customers. Being in a business you’re not passionate about will not also put you in a constant fire to do a dedicated business no matter how your business is hot now.
2. Not complying with the laws
Establishing a business should be done with applicable government licenses and operating it should comply with the laws, rules, and regulations applicable to it. Business owners should also be responsible with their tax obligations. This is because no matter how you will increase your business profit and assets, if you will not follow the laws of the land, your liabilities due to the government will also increase, not to mention you will not also earn good night’s sleep.
3. Not making a SMART plan
A good plan doesn’t mean long or sophisticated, especially if you only have a small business. A good plan should be simple and executable. It should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). One of the most common failures committed by businessmen is the failure to come up with this kind of plan.
4. Not sticking to that SMART plan
A SMART plan or even the smartest plan will not bring your business into success if you will not stick to it. To succeed in business you have to be consistent and you have to learn how to avoid your distractions.
5. Ignoring the long-term goals
Another mistake done by business people is focusing on short-term benefits while ignoring their long-term objectives. Business owners fail because they don’t build a business that lasts. Building a lasting business involves sacrifices, such as sacrificing your early profits to produce quality products. But there are business owners who ignore the quality and excellence of their products just to reduce their expenses and increase their profit. They could earn fast profit, but eventually, they don’t earn trust and confidence from customers, resulting this to their failure.
6. Not constantly motivating your employees
Employees or workers are the people responsible in producing your products or providing your services to customers. Without motivated workers, it’s hard to have happy and productive workers. Without more productive workers, it’s hard to attain your production and sales goals. Also, if you want to make your customers happy, you have to make your employees happy first. It’s difficult to make your customers happy, while your employees are sad, right?
7. Not constantly motivating yourself
You are the first person in your business. It all started in you… and it may also end in you if you will not motivate yourself constantly. Without motivating yourself first and without making yourself inspiring first, you can hardly motivate and inspire your employees, as well as your customers. Remember that the most difficult competitor you may encounter in doing business is none other than yourself. You have to beat the worst self in you – the one who is lazy, greedy, impatient, undisciplined, and unfocused.
8. Not building teamwork
Even if you would hire the best and the most talented people to work for your business if they won’t cooperate with each other, your organization could still fall down. Most businesses fail because their owners did not become better leaders, who know how to unite their team. Thus, if you want to succeed, learn how to assemble your army and effectively deploy them.
9. Not listening to your customers’ feedback
Customers are the ones who can give you the best information that will help you to improve your products and services. Of course they are the actual users or consumers of your products. They may even know your products more than what you know. That is why you should not ignore their feedback and testimonials. You have to listen to them and act accordingly.
10. Not giving extra services to wow your customers
The business world is a tough and a very competitive world. If you will not offer something better than what your competitors offer, then you might not survive and your business will just be beaten in the competition. Hence, if you want to survive, you have to stand out from the crowd. You have to give a little more. You have to wow your customers by providing them more than what they expect.
11. Lying to your customers
It doesn’t mean because most advertisers lie, you also have to lie to avoid failure. There are horrible consequences of lying. It breaks your customers’ hearts and it breaks their trust and confidence in your business. Today’s business is all about making a difference. Thus, if you want to succeed, you have to be honest even if others are not.
12. Not innovating
The world is constantly revolving; the technology is rapidly updating; the people are innovating. If a business wouldn’t adapt to these changes, then failure can be inevitable. To succeed, you have to continue learning and experimenting things that could improve your business. Moreover, remember that innovation is not only implemented on our products or on our machine and equipment, but it is also implemented on our way of doing business, such as management, marketing and leadership.
13. Forgetting the old effective business techniques
Innovation could be great in business. However, we should not still forget the old business principles, strategies, techniques, and tactics that could still help our business grow. Remember that ancient business principles, which are timeless, could still work effectively for us, especially when they relate to dealing with humans or the society. Many businesses fail because they embrace too much in modernization without keeping the old golden rules. For example in Internet marketing, they rely too much on automation that they forget to communicate personally with their customers, causing these to not building deeper and profitable customer relationship.
14. Having strategies without tactics, and vice versa
Strategies are your plans to achieve a major or long-term goal, while your tactics are your steps or immediate actions to ensure that your strategies are going to the right direction. These two, including your techniques, should work together to achieve a common goal. Without the proper combination of your business strategies, tactics, and techniques, your business would fail.
15. Being unprepared to handle success
Many business owners and entrepreneurs eventually fail because they are only working to get success, but forget to prepare themselves how to manage success when they get it. Remember that just like failure, success is not always final. Hence, if it gets on your hand, you must be ready to handle it, maintain it, and multiply it.
I hope that this article will help you learn the mistakes of others so that you may know how to avoid them. Remember that wisdom is not only achieved through your own experience, but it can also be attained through learning from others’ experience. Therefore, don’t waste time and money making mistakes if you can avoid them in the first place.