Ok, bad news first! Those of you that know me know that I don't like giving bad news so lets get it out of the way......
The bad news is that 8 out of 10 businesses will fail in their first 3 years. Does this scare you? Are you an entrepreneur trying to get your business off the ground or are you cruising after 3 years and not sure how to step it up?
However, you also know that I’m going to tell you how to be in the 20% that flourish in business.
So, why do 80% of businesses fail?
The life of an entrepreneur can be very unforgiving and a constant challenge to juggle a million moving parts of a business. Any one of these moving parts has the potential to put you out of business.
"I knew that if I failed, I wouldn't regret that, but i knew the one thing I might regret is not trying" Jeff Bezos (Amazon Founder and CEO)
The most common reasons for a business failing include the following:
Lack of short term and long term planning
Poor leadership and delays making decisions
Ignoring customer needs
Lack of profit – only 40% of small businesses are profitable, 30% break even and 30% are losing money
Lack of focus
Apple remains the world's most profitable company in 2017 with profits of $45.69 billion! This was despite its annual profits declining 14.4% according to Fortune magazine. People are crazy for Apple products, I mean just look at their stores! They have absolutely nailed customer service which sets it apart from all its competitors. If you go into an Apple store your wait time is unnoticeable before a cool and trendy kid comes over to help you. Apple understands that customer satisfaction and customer happiness is critical to them to be sustainable in a competitive market.
"If you want to be successful find someone who has achieved the results you want, copy what they do and you'll achieve the same results". Tony Robbins
If you read my blogs regularly then you know how much I love Richard Branson! He’s my business idol (along with a certain Mr Robbins). However, even Branson hasn’t been immune to business failures! He has started over 100 businesses since he was 16. What you probably didn't know was 15 of them have since failed.....Remember Virgin Drinks? Virgin Clothing? Virgin Megastore?
Branson said “My Mother taught me that I should not focus on past regrets, so with regards to business I don’t. My teams and I do not allow mistakes or failures to deter us"
By the way, Richard Branson’s current net worth is £4.5 billion! He doesn't dwell on his failures, he fails fast and moves on.
Entrepreneurs can in fact make their businesses flourish by laying some key foundations and a positive mindset. Over the 15 years I have worked with companies and entrepreneurs and even from my own business successes or failures I have captured some of these key tips for you to accelerate your own business growth.
10 tips to Accelerate your Business Growth
1. Write a business plan
Even if your business is donkey’s years old, go back and do this!
A good business plan should contain:
SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats).
Analysis and Revenue Projections.
2. Get informed
Either join an advisory board, an industry best practice group or society or a peer advisory board where you can get feedback from fellow entrepreneurs which will save you countless hours.
3. Forget the idea, take action!
Ideas are great but they won’t build great businesses alone, you need to take action to succeed.
Wantrepreneurs are full of ideas that never result in action. Entrepreneurs are action takers.
4. Get a coach
The motivation to continue will wane when things get tough. A Coach can help you lift your head above the parapet and see what’s actually important and what you should be focusing on. Since I invested in my Coach my business has grown 10 fold in just over 3 months, my goals are clearly set, my business plan is in place and I know exactly what service my clients can expect to receive. My income is up, my available services have tripled and she has enabled me to see a much faster route to success. I wouldn't have done 1/10th of this without her support and holding me to account for my actions.
5. Believe that you can!
The only way that your business can succeed is if you believe it can. Stay focused, positive and motivated and your business will flourish
6. Give it time
ideas are fast but making them happen will take time. Even if everything goes exactly to plan almost everything you do will take longer than expected.
7. Stay profitable
Keep adding and updating your products and services based on where the demand is. Keep an eye on your cash flow and profit as to succeed in business you need to have positive cash flow. This means the cash funnelling into your business is more than the amount leaving your business. Increase your cash flow by getting paid in advance by asking for deposits, increase your sales, offer incentives for early payments or secure loans for emergencies. Profit First by Mike Michalowicz is a profit led way to run your business!
8. Pivot, rinse and repeat
Successful entrepreneurs are always adjusting and improving what they deliver. Your business and environments are dynamic and if you’re good you develop a keen eye for changes and you make quick adjustments.
Streamline what you do to make it consistent and speed up the delivery of your product or service.
And find ways to automate what you do so the business won't come crashing down if you're taking a well earned break.
9. Love what you do!
ONLY start or run a business if it is your passion as there will be many days when you won’t want to be an entrepreneur. If it is your passion it will be much easier!
10. Keep Perspective
Don’t lose sight of the most important things in life. If you were focusing all of your time on your business then your life will be out of balance and you’ll could either suffer with burnout or end up divorced!
See your family, have fun, do things that get you out of bed in the morning separate from your business
Now that you know how to accelerate your business, your relationships and energy and life will have more meaning. This will enable you to become an even better entrepreneur than you ever thought possible.
Resources You'll love: