Common Reasons Why Small Businesses Fail

Whether you’ve already started your small business or you’re still toying around with the idea of it, one thing is certain: the idea of failing is scary. As a small business owner, the odds are against you, and success isn’t as simple as selling an awesome product or service; there are a lot of factors to take consider if you want to survive. Knowledge is power, however, and knowing what causes most small business to fail is a critical part of ensuring success for your own.
Lauren Carbaugh
Writer
4
min read

Poor leadership

You’re not just an entrepreneur; you’re a leader. If you have poor management skills, you’ll fail at maintaining a staff, making important decisions, and staying on top of finances. Eventually, as your business grows, you must be willing to delegate appropriate tasks and hire other management personnel. You’ll set the standard for your staff, so complacency and a poor mindset will affect your business at all levels. Employee morale will plummet, and productivity will decline. Put an end to the struggle before it even happens by taking leadership courses and learning from other successful business owners.

Financial mismanagement

The goal isn’t to lose money or break even - it’s to make a profit. However, in order to do this, you can’t only rely on sales. You have to track each and every penny spent, even when it seems frivolous. The small things add up, and if you don’t stay on top of them, you’ll be wondering where that big chunk of money went. It’s also crucial to have a cash reserve in case of a crisis or unexpected expense. A business accounting software can be an excellent tool to record each and every income and expense, and helps you keep a solid grasp on where your business stands financially.

Marketing strategy

What good is your product if no one knows what makes it better than all the others like it? Marketing is a critical component of your small business’s success, and in this day and age, an online presence is critical. Don’t invest all of your time and money into your business while failing to develop a solid marketing strategy. If you don’t know where to start, build a website and share your business page on social media - but don’t stop there. Implement a referral program, compile an email subscription list, hire a marketing firm if you have to; but, whatever you do, make sure you’re reaching and connecting with your target customers.

Lack of proper planning

As you may have already discovered, there’s so much more to running a small business than just selling a product or service. Thorough research and planning are absolutely critical in ensuring your business’s success. Take a moment to ask yourself the following questions: What makes you different from all the rest? Who are your target customers? How do you plan to market your business? What is your projected cash flow? How long will cash reserves last? If you don’t have the answer to one or more of these questions, get busy - you’ve still got a lot of planning and research ahead of you.

Don’t fret, small business owners. The future may seem bleak, but it doesn’t have to be. Your business can absolutely be successful with plenty of research, skill, time, and commitment. Knowing what causes other small businesses to fail is the first step in preventing yours from doing the same. In being aware of your own shortcomings and knowing how to change them, you’ll empower yourself and your business to be successful.

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