One oft-quoted statistic says that 85 percent of small businesses fail. What a depressing thought! That doesn’t stop us passionate entrepreneurs from testing out the waters and attempting to defy all odds, of course, but in the back of every new small business owner’s mind is this awful number. Here are a few signs you’re on the fast track to failure – and what you can do to steer yourself back on course before it’s too late.
First, consider that the average TV spot is 30 seconds. During the Super Bowl when emotions are running high, it’s only 15 seconds. Yet, half the people watching TV can’t be bothered to watch commercials at all and simply fast-forward them on their DVRs. These are the people you’re trusting to care about what you have to say? You’ve got about 200 to 500 words to say your peace online. If you have Tweets, videos, bullet points and lists, you’re definitely on the right track.
If you’re not selling yourself, your ideas, your campaigns, your products and your customer service at all time, you cannot possibly succeed. Some business owners feel they have such a great product that the product will sell itself. Yet, you need to be constantly creating relationships each and every day where you’re selling. This doesn’t mean beating people over the head with your pitch, but it does mean being cognizant of every opportunity and looking for ways to expand your enterprise. You need to be attacking every promotional channel you can, rather than sticking with one dated model. You need to be doing offline promotions, SEO, PPC ads, social media, email marketing and have as many irons in the fire as possible.
Many small businesses get started with very small budgets and therefore feel they need to manage 100 percent of the enterprise on their own. Yet, have you earned professional degrees and worked for many years in sales, accounting, marketing, technology, writing and communication? It’s highly unlikely you have six or more niches where you excel. It’s okay to delegate to people who have more experience than you. A good leader does not have to know all the answers, but he needs to know where to find them. Access enough capital to run your business and run it wisely from the get-go and you will be on the path to success.