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Why Businesses Fail (and what you can do about it)
By: Developer Shed
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    Why Businesses Fail (and what you can do about it)
    by Maria Marsala

    No one sets out to fail! Most business owners read all the
    statistics (maybe more than once) before they open their
    doors. Many know the reasons why businesses fail. But some
    businesses operate under this paradigm: "failure can never
    happen to me because I know better." Is that you?

    What most business owners miss is looking at the reasons for
    business failure and turning them into action steps to help
    overcome the odds of failure. How do I know? I once thought
    I knew better, too!

    Bear in mind that even "adolescent" businesses fail.
    According to the SBA statistics, 90% of small businesses
    fail within the first five years. Many businesses aren't
    producing enough income because the business owners aren't
    "business wise." They may be excellent at a specific task -
    consulting, programming, massage therapy, web site design,
    copywriting, etc. Or they have a great product. But wise
    about the "business" of business, they are not!

    In the past five years of my business, not one client
    (including those who have been in business for more than 10
    years) provided me with a business plan to review. Not one!
    Two of 100 clients have had marketing plans, but marketing
    plans don't work without a business plan and other focus
    type tools, too. The other common (95%!) mistake I see (and
    help my clients correct) is pricing their services very low
    as a way to gain market share and new clients. So low, in
    fact, that a potential buyer will perceive the service or
    product as being cheap and of low quality, even when the
    provider offers years of expertise. NO ONE wants to hire a
    business that is cheap! Inexpensive - yes; affordable - yes;
    cheap - no, no, no!

    The most common problems business owners experience stem
    from simple functions like streamlining, organizing,
    information resourcing, marketing, planning, visioning,
    languaging, communication, technology and ecommerce.
    Example: If you know that most businesses fail because they
    don't have a usable business plan, develop your own business
    and marketing plans and use them daily; don't create one
    that gathers dust on a shelf. I use the One Page Business
    Plan Book or Interactive CD by Jim Horan. It helps business
    owners create very realistic, focused, and well thought-out
    business and marketing plans, including scorecards to help
    you anticipate and avoid business problems.

    Example 1: Recently, a client turned down an opportunity to
    teach computer classes on a subject she could easily teach.
    Using teaching to market her business is on her marketing
    plan. So why not? Well, the proposed classes weren't going
    to help her get business for her primary business, they
    weren't going to attract her ideal client, and the pay was
    much lower than her usual hourly rate. She felt confident
    about declining the offer. Of course, that same week, other
    new business - the type she really wanted - came her way!

    Example 2: New client knows she wants to create a business
    plan. She also has a strategy of increasing her income by
    joining four organizations with networking opportunities for
    her to meet her ideal clients. She joins the first two
    groups - total cost: $400.
    As she starts her business foundation work, which includes
    the One Page Business Plan, she realizes that her ideal
    client isn't whom she originally thought it was! Some
    clients might be found in the two groups she's already
    joined, but not her ideal clients. As a new business owner,
    she wants to spend her time around her ideal clients, first
    and foremost. Planning just a little more for her business
    would have saved her $400 in membership fees.

    What other simple things can you do to build a solid
    business foundation?
    Use a one-page plan daily to create your to-do list and
    monitor your business.
    Create an Ideal Client Profile and Elevator Speech and
    define a niche for your business.
    Read one of the "E-myth Revisited" books by Michael
    Go with your strengths. Hire individuals whose strengths
    ARE your weaknesses to "fill in the gaps."
    Remember that there is no need to repeat the SAME mistakes
    others have made.
    Know what your business exit strategy will be.

    Most business owners don't know what they don't know. Get
    assistance by hiring non-biased professionals who help you
    realign with your vision, create plans and financial
    scorecards to monitor your business. Look for someone who
    can suggest resources to help you and your business grow.
    Someone who's been in your shoes and succeeded. Start
    looking at how having a partner - a business consultant,
    coach, counselor, strategist, organizer or planner - can
    help you grow your business.

    Ready to learn more about business success? Take a look at
    the articles I found on business failure that are posted
    below, (
    Learn to overcome the costly (both in money and your time)
    errors that other business owners have already made. Give
    your business a fighting chance to continue to succeed.

    2004 Maria Marsala, business builder who helps women-owned service businesses increase their bottom line in less time. A former Wall Street trader and manager, she used her business expertise to create 6 S.I.M.P.L.E. Business Steps, a program developed to help her clients succeed in less time. Learn more at

    DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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