The 5 root causes of business failure.

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We live in the era of the interwebs a time where anyone with an idea, time, and entrepreneurial spirit can attempt a business startup. Unfortunately, the untold truth is that many of these individuals lack the skills needed to succeed in their venture.

This being said, in the age of the Internet these skills can easily be acquired if enough effort is applied. I get it, most people are drones in the hive, and it is difficult for the drones to see the complete picture, at the same time those who are not drones may be initially incapable of getting down on their knees (bee's knees lol sorry), and completing the dirty work.  In reality, well-rounded individuals are difficult to find.

Personally, I feel that those who have the queen mentality have a better chance of succeeding than those who have simply grown accustomed to following orders their entire lives. Creating a hive (business) properly can be a difficult task for the subservient individual. Let us continue to see why.

 

Your first mistake – Laziness

The drone persona might misinterpret this point; they may think that they are not lazy because they do a lot of physical labor. However, in the business world when it comes to laziness we have two flavors, physical and mental.

The problem here is that working hard, and meaninglessly doesn’t one bit absolve you from being a lazy business owner. If you lack certain skills needed to run your business it is solemnly your responsibility to learn them. It is your responsibility to keep the ball rolling efficiently. You need to reprogram your mind and become a learner all over again.

You see human beings have this fundamental problem, they seek immediate gratification, many people get an awesome business idea, and they start off with a lot of enthusiasm, they quickly burn out once they see how complicated the task ahead of them is. As a business owner, you need to keep in mind that you are now the person responsible for every aspect of your business! A lot of people think that just because they have worked in a certain industry their entire lives they have the competence to open a business pertaining to that industry. The truth is that unless they were working the business side of their industry prior to opening their own they will most likely become overwhelmed once things begin to gain momentum; that being if they even get that far.

This is where mental laziness kicks in, the resources needed are out there, one of my favorites is www.lynda.com, but there are also hundreds of books published on any given topic. The problem is that these individuals lack the will power to separate the time to invest in learning the skills they will need to succeed in their venture. When you are the owner of the business there is no such thing as off time unless you are already successful, I would ask you why you are reading this but I take it that the reading of new material is most likely part of the reason you are successful, to begin with. 

 Sometimes when people have reached the level where they have a portfolio of customers they begin to become complacent, not realizing that they are simply beginning to enter phase one of business protocol, it’s only going to get harder from there!

Regarding mental laziness, the truth is that if you were bad in academics you will most likely fall into the trap of mental apathy. Everyone wants money, everyone wants power, and everyone wants to be successful but how many want to put the effort into to achieve that goal?

The simple truth is that growing a business takes effort, vision, and a will to learn and improve, and unless you are already rich and can hire individuals to think for you, you will fail, it is inevitable even if your product is a success.

I won't get into physical laziness I think the ramifications of physical lethargy are obvious. Just keep in mind that as your venture grows there will be more things to do, there will be more inventory to track, or jobs to complete, or phone calls to make, its not going to stop unless you are smart enough to hire someone to do that part of the business for you, and then you’ll have to maintain oversight unless you want to see your business hemorrhage funds.

 

Stop being stubborn, your second mistake.

So many bees don’t understand how running an efficient business works, and they are unwilling to change! To be honest I think that points 2 and 3 are fundamentally tied together.

Before opening the doors (virtual or physical) of your business you were a drone. You followed orders; you were most likely told what to do, especially if you were blue collar. Now that you left the hive you have nobody giving you orders anymore, and you most likely have no idea what you are doing either. Yea, you might be getting the majority of your projects completed but are you doing it in a sensible manner? Are you willing to learn from others? The answer is most likely no… Don’t misinterpret me here; I am not talking about changing the secret ingredients of your restaurant business’ chicken soup. I am talking about the actual structure of your company. I take that back maybe the ingredients do need to change if you are doing something that is unpractical or simply not helping your business. The question here is, are you willing to change it?

Have you taken the time to look at the leaders of your industry and see what they are doing? You do realize that there is a reason why they are the leaders in your industry right?  The truth is that many business owners fail to understand this concept. They develop a manner of doing things and refuse to change even when it is obvious that their method is non-functional, and for that reason, they will utterly fail in their attempts to create a viable business.

 

You are arrogant keep flying towards the sun; hope that you aren’t using wax.

So you’ve been in business several years but for some reason now you seem to be stuck, and you don’t understand why right? Step back little drone, have you taken a look around, perhaps you are alone! A big mistake for business owners is arrogance, especially if you haven’t reached a substantial financial success threshold. You are so proud and arrogant that you don’t go to seminars that pertain to your industry; you don’t go to business courses or read books that may spur new ideas for your business. Or worst you go and are too arrogant to apply any of the concepts shown there. I have a question for you, are you being invited to give business seminars? Are you so successful that you are a speaker; my take is no you aren’t. So my suggestion here is that you snap out of this illusionary world you have chosen to live in. I suggest you pack your bags, go to a workshop, shut up, and absorb as much information as you can with an open mind. There is a way that works and a way that doesn’t, and judging by your business’ stagnation your method isn’t working, is it…

      Additionally, even if your business is doing good there are still fundamentals that you might be in the dark with regards to. Maybe you have a high attrition rate and don’t know why…  The reality of the matter is the following, you’ve never had employees, never had to deal with complex accounting, never had to oversee various projects with full answerability, and never were responsible for coming up with marketing strategies until you started your business, so under that pretense why not go out and learn something new.

 

So your product is a hit, 95% of the profits go into your pocket and 5% back into the business to pay the loan you took out to continue production. – GREED.

It sounds absurd but you would be surprised how many people don’t understand the purpose of opening a business. You were a drone; you got your weekly portion of honey but for some reason, the queen seemed to be hoarding the rest of it in the hive. Now you the drone are in charge and you don’t see the purpose of keeping that honey within the hive, you decide it’s better if you consume it all.  

You see good business practices are all around you in nature, maybe if you opened your eyes and tried a little harder to think objectively you would see ways to translate this into your business. Nature is a business woman.

Opening a business is an investment, and if you choose to drain that investment of its resources it will falter and die. Oh and guess what, just incase you can’t see the correlation here, if that business dies, so does your source of honey.

At the same time, greed can also manifest itself as cheapness. At some point, you are going to have to invest in R&D (research and development), equipment, inventory, and especially employees. Do you want to be a queen bee who has a huge hive and can live for up to 50 years, or do you want to be a lonely wasp that dies in the winter?

Maybe you opened your business with all the wrong intentions, nobody blames you, you were a drone and didn’t know better. All that said however now that you have seen how business works it is up to you to become a responsible owner and see that it doesn’t collapse on itself.

Yes, the reason you opened your business was to acquire more wealth but you need to keep in mind that your main goal as a business owner should be to see the business prosper if the business prospers so will you.

 

You’re paralyzed; FEAR.

So with the advent of the Internet, the world now moves at a faster pace. Maybe your industry is changing faster than you thought it would, maybe the markets are no longer in your favor, maybe your way of working has become obsolete or maybe you have competition.  The bottom-line is that you are scared to make changes now, scared to take that leap forward. You have many paths before you and all look dark and unknown, who knows maybe you’ll take the wrong path and fail but at least you have tired. The one thing that is clear is that if you stay where you are a failure is inevitable.  This is true with even the biggest company, what would have happened if Apple didn’t take the chance it took releasing a phone with no tactile buttons back in 2007?

 

The bottom line here is take risks, be willing to learn and adapt, accept feedback willingly, put resources into your business instead of constantly draining it, and get out there; innovate!

 

-Cheers


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