Small Businesses and the Reasons They Fail

11250203_756356421144094_1976120410850314267_n-300x200 (1)Small businesses have a high failure rate.

Why? Small businesses relying on one primary customer, one source of income or one key sales person (sometimes themselves) is an almost guaranteed death trap for small businesses. I see it far too much in my work.

Realize this. Change is the only constant. Just because things seem fine now or maybe even seem great, chances are it won’t always be this way.

See if you can relate to any of these scenarios:

  • You can’t believe how much business you are getting from referrals, so you stop selling and adding new prospects to your pipeline.
  • Your biggest customer is giving you so many orders you can barely handle them all so you ignore the little guys.
  • You primary product or source of new business is delivering beyond expectation so you don’t see the need to diversify.
  • Your key sales person (maybe you) always delivers, some way, somehow so you don’t create accountability from each member of the staff to produce income and profit for the company.

If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. Right? WRONG…

I watch these scenarios take small businesses under every day. New businesses, existing businesses, no one is immune. It can be tempting to go with the flow when things seem to be working, but you have a responsibility to yourself, your family, your employees and your customers to be vigilant about protecting the future of your business.

Diversity and sustainability are two words that must be a part of your everyday vocabulary and strategy if you want to make it for the long haul in today’s economic climate.

When things are going well, we tend not to ask the tough questions when, in fact, that is precisely the time to address them; not when you are down and out, desperate and backed into a corner.

The reality for most small businesses is that the longer you avoid identifying
the weak spots, the sooner you’ll face failure you may
struggle to bounce back from.

So I want you to ask yourself these questions about your business today and then get started acting on whatever answers you come up with. You may dislike me for a few minutes, but weeks, months or years from now you will remember this moment and determine it was the turning point that saved your business.

  • What would my income and profit look like if my biggest customer went away tomorrow?
  • If myself, or my best salesperson, was suddenly disabled, no longer with the firm or stopped producing how would the business continue moving forward?
  • If circumstances suddenly changed and every person on the team needed to contribute to the profit of the business to keep it afloat what would that look like? Could they do it? Would they do it? Would you know how to lead them through this change?
  • If your primary source of new business went away could you replace that profit stream quickly enough to keep the business afloat?
  • If the market changed and your primary offering was no longer relevant, needed or in demand how would you reinvent yourself and reposition yourself to succeed?

These are the questions that smart small business owners ask themselves
and prepare for on a daily basis.

Yes, it’s hard work, but it also can determine the fate of your business and ultimately the quality of your life. By asking the tough questions and taking action when things are going well, you will propel your business to greatness and create a foundation that cannot be shaken.

If you find that any of these scenarios are happening in your business today and you need help breaking out of them, reach out to me to discuss how we can design and implement a sustainability and diversity plan that sets you up for unstoppable success! Apply for a conversation here

For more business-building strategies, check out Unstoppable Success Radio on iTunes!