Entrepreneurship isn’t for the weak, that’s for sure. A lot of new businesses never make it off the ground. Others stumble along for a few years, only to fold before they ever reach maturity. In fact, roughly 70% of small businesses will never see their tenth anniversary.
It may sound contradictory, but you can’t succeed at a business unless you start thinking about the possibility of failure. When you understand what causes most small businesses to go under, you can start to mitigate your risks.
Want to avoid failure? Ask yourself these 3 questions
Whatever stage your operations are in, it helps to consider these questions:
- Do you have a clear vision? A successful business has a purpose and a mission — and sticks to its own wheelhouse. If you let your business get off-track, you will end up scattering your resources and efforts with no promise of return.
- Are you and your business partners in sync? If you don’t have clear lines of responsibility and authority, conflicts are going to erupt. You can end up duplicating your efforts, butting heads over who is in charge of what part of the business or leaving something vital undone because nobody thinks they’re in charge of it.
- Do you understand your customer base? Marketing and customer management is a very different ballgame than it was even 20 years ago. Social media has become the contact method of choice for many consumers, and search engine optimization is critically important. Online sales are bigger than ever. You can’t merely hang a shingle with your business name outside your door and rely on foot traffic and word-of-mouth anymore.
When you have a business to run, don’t let small problems turn into big ones. It often helps to have experienced guidance that will help you avoid legal entanglements as you expand.