The US Small Business Administration defines a small business as a privately owned and operated business with 100 employees or less.
That definition would put all enterprises of entrepreneurs who I personally know under the category of a small business.
And that is a bit discomforting because according to US statistical data on small businesses – 50% of small businesses close down within five years.
A study shows that out of 10 small businesses that start today:
- 3 of them would fail within the next two years and;
- 2 more would follow on or before the fifth year.
So what causes these businesses to fail? More importantly, as an entrepreneur, what can you do to prevent that from happening to your own business?
Here are what I consider the top eight reasons why a small business fail along with some tips on how to prevent it from happening.
Never start a business without enough capital – which means having enough funds to survive at least a few months without profit. Here’s a guide to know how much business startup capital you’ll need.
A bad business location
You discovered a cheap commercial space for your business? Before you pay that deposit, do your research first and see if it’s really as good as it looks. Here are eight tips to finding the right business location.
Ineffective marketing campaigns
Failure to get new customers stagnates your income. And the only way to get a steady stream of new clients is to have a continuous and well-thought of marketing plan. Design and implement cost-effective, creative and consistent promotions. Here’s how to plan a marketing campaign in 10 simple steps.
Poor accounting and financial management
Prevent the excessive acquisition of fixed assets. Control your debts and the credit you extend to customers. And always have reserve funds to cover unexpected and uncontrollable expenses such as raw material price hikes, increased utility costs and natural disasters. Moreover, I believe that all business owners should have basic accounting skills.
Learn how to hire the best people. Clearly define their responsibilities and set work standards they must meet. More importantly, find ways to motivate and inspire them to work for the good of the company. Inculcate in them the mission, vision and values of your business.
Failure to adapt to the changing times
“A business is a dynamic entity. It will not achieve long-term success if it does not learn how to adapt to the ever changing market… to be ahead or up to date with the latest business trends.” – a quote from How To Catch Emerging Business Trends
Other businesses are out there to get your customers. So always be aware what they’re up to. Furthermore, always strive to deliver great customer service. Here are more tips on how to keep your business ahead of the competition.
Growing too quickly
Always set realistic goals for your business and do not overextend yourself financially. Expand your business slowly but surely. Here are some business development strategies you can try.
What about you? What do you think are other reasons why businesses fail? Do share them below in the comments section.
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Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. “Small Business“. March 2010.
Focus. “Small Businesses and Hard Facts”. January 2010.
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