Warning: 3 Reasons Your Business Might Fail

January 27, 2015

7:00 am

Do you ever think about why your business would fail? Most businesses fail.

What can you do to make sure yours isn’t one of the majority? Your business could fail for many reasons, and below are three of the most common:

Reason #1 – Your business is failing because you do not have the desire to become successful.

This is so silly. We all want to succeed. Don’t we? So, why is that so many of us fail?

Napoleon Hill, who is considered one of the greatest writers on success, refers to this as “burning desire”.

Every business starts with an idea. Of course, that’s the easy part. What happens after the idea phase is what separates wantrepreneurs from entrepreneurs.

It is your fuel of entrepreneurial desire that turns your idea into a reality. The idea is like a sugar high. It feels great for a short period of time, but it won’t energize you for long. Burning desire is what gives you the consistent drive that gets you through the constant barrage of obstacles along the way.

Think about the larger goals you have set for yourself throughout your life. How committed were you to reach those goals? Under what circumstances did you allow yourself to give up?

If you have the entrepreneur’s drive to succeed you will either find a way or break your way through success. Whatever it takes.

Reason #2 – Your business is failing because you lack focus.

In many ways focus is a simple concept yet so many entrepreneurs struggle with it. Many entrepreneurs think that focusing on many things is a competitive advantage. In reality, focus limits your scope of attention.

Your lack of focus hurts your business in several major ways:

  • It slows you down – The business environment is quickly changing. The barrier to entry into almost any industry has become a fraction of what it used to be. You competitors that manage to stay focused will outcompete you.
  • It complicates everything – A broad focus will require more of everything. Everything you want to accomplish will take longer, require more money, more of your attention. You will spend more time testing, improving, building, marketing, and fulfilling. With the additional variables the chances of failure rises exponentially.
  • Makes pivoting difficult – Virtually every startup will pivot. As you learn what works and what doesn’t you make adjustments. As you keep things simple pivoting becomes easier.
  • It is hard to innovate – Your customers, your industry, and your competition will force you to constantly innovate.
  • It complicates sales and marketing – A company with laser focus has a better chance developing the right marketing message. The more defined your market it, the easier it is to build your sales funnel.
  • We are built for focus – Human beings perform better while maintaining focus. According to a 2009 Stanford study, multitaskers use their brains less effectively. Multi-tasking is a weakness not a strength. Startups that want to solve too many problems increase their chances of failure.

Reason #3 – Your business is failing because you strive for perfection.

Entrepreneurs who fail are driven to distraction through their pursuit of perfection. The whole notion of perfection is silly. Perfection suggests a state of flawlessness. I don’t know about you, but I have never dealt with a business without flaws.

Not even a machine will operate perfectly one hundred percent of the time. Expecting perfection of your business will wear you down and it will alienate your team.

There is no such thing as:

  • Perfect work-life balance
  • Perfect decision
  • Perfect solution
  • Perfect timing
  • Perfect product
  • Perfect employer
  • Perfect employee

Instead of trying for perfection seek optimal decision using the following tools and techniques:

  • Pareto analysis – It is also called the 80/20 principle. The key here is not to focus on the 80/20, but to realize the connection between effort and result. Any task you are working on, the majority of the results, 80% or even more, require 20% or less effort. Although the principle is often referenced, very few entrepreneurs actually use it.
  • Decision matrix – Whether it’s a hiring decision or what new marketing tactic to use, entrepreneurs never want to make the wrong decision. To make the ideal decision, use a decision matrix. A decision matrix helps entrepreneurs evaluate and prioritize their options. It helps you weigh all your options by taking the subjectivity out of the equation.
  • Decision tree – Decision trees are flowchart graphs that help explore all of your alternatives and their possible outcomes. Each “branch” of the tree represents one of the possible options.

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George Meszaros is a serial entrepreneur and the co-founder of Success Harbor an entrepreneur interview and advice site for small business. Success Harbor is dedicated to documenting the entrepreneurial journey through interviews, original research, and unique content. George Meszaros is also a web designer and marketing company co-founder.

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