Small Business Advice: Tips for Small Business Success

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Look at any business magazine, and you’ll see entrepreneurs who have taken their companies from garage-based part-time enterprises to huge successes. But for every one of those companies, there are hundreds — thousands even — that either fail completely or simply limp along.

Why do some businesses fail and others succeed?

There’s no step-by-step magical formula to ensure you’re in the latter camp, but there are some general observations we can make about what causes failure or mediocrity so that you can avoid them.

Some Businesses Don’t Bother to Plan

Flying by the seat of your pants might be the protocol when you’re a carefree child, but once you become a business owner, this will only guarantee certain disaster. And yet, so many small businesses don’t really set their courses for where they want to go and how they’ll get there.

Not having even a basic business plan keeps you from having goals to work toward, and it can make it challenging to make strategic business decisions with no objectives to aim for. To help your business thrive, chart your progress toward what you hope to accomplish, and modify your plan as needed.

They Don’t Really Know (or Care) What Their Customers Want

Startups are notorious for failing — a shocking 90% do — and often the cause is simple ego. Founders think they’ve stumbled onto an amazing product or solution, but they do zero research to actually find out if there’s a market for it.

Market research is critical for the success of your business. Knowing not only what your customers want, but also who they are, will help you deliver the perfect solution.

They Try to Do It All On Their Own

Entrepreneurs have a certain mindset, and many have Type A personalities, which means they’re reluctant to ask for help or advice. And yet, who among us knows everything when it comes to running a successful business?

Having a mentor, business partner, or even panel of advisors you can turn to when you have difficult decisions to make can ensure you make the right ones. It doesn’t take away from your own competencies, but rather complements them by building your network of people who have different skillsets from your own.
Knowing what causes small business failure is as important as understanding what helps a business thrive.

By Andrew Patricio

October 26, 2016