Despite all the marketing hype from people selling consulting or B2B marketing plans, it’s much easier to work at a regular job than to build a business. Unfortunately, while jobs offer job security, it’s rare to find one that’s a perfect fit for you if you like to innovate and improve existing systems.
Consequently, the idea of freedom pushes those with an entrepreneurial spirit to start their own business — even if they’ve always worked for someone else and don’t really have a clear idea about how to start and run a business from scratch.
High Failure Rate for Small Businesses
The statistics for small business success is not encouraging.
George Meszaros, whose business is helping businesses succeed, has compiled some distressing statistics about the high failure rate of small businesses: “According to the Small Business Administration – The SBA – close to 66% of small businesses will survive their first 2 years. What that means is that only about one-third of total businesses will fail during the first 2 years. The SBA also tells you that about 50% of businesses fail during the first year in business.”
What to Do if You’re Not Doing Well
If you’re on the edge, with the possibility of either a breakthrough or a breakdown, what can you do to stay in business long enough for things to pick up again?
Three common reasons for businesses to begin to start failing is because they have an internal business problem, they are running out of money, or they don’t know what they’re doing.
Here are 3 simple strategies to turn the tide in your favor:
1. Internal Business Problem
The reason why you’re struggling right now might be because something crucial to your continued business operations has broken down.
It could be something intangible like a failed marketing launch or something tangible like solid-state drive data loss. Instead of giving up and closing your doors, take immediate action to fix the problem, even if it’s necessary to take money out of your business operation to do it or borrow money. In our example, if your marketing is failing, consult with a marketing expert to figure out what you need to do. If it’s related to your computer’s storage system failing, then find a company that specializes in SSD data recovery. Whatever the problem, take some practical action. Don’t panic. If you do, you’ll fall into a state of despair, apathy, and resignation and let things slip from bad to worse.
2. Cash Flow Problems
Sometimes, the problem is that poor sales have resulted in negative cash flow and your situation is now alarming.
Some businesses have been able to get a boost in hard times and get back on track by getting a loan or credit card, raising money through crowdfunding, changing advertising venues, or getting a business grant.
The money that you need is available, but you may have to do some intense research to find it. Many famous entrepreneurs have struggled when they first got started because of insufficient funds, but they managed to get enough to stay in business long enough for their big idea to work. A classic example is Henry Ford. His idea of a motorized car was so novel that he needed to borrow money from businessmen to keep going.
3. Problems Due To Slow Or No Growth
Sometimes your business could be failing in a less dramatic way. Nothing has broken down. You still have enough money to keep things going. But despite your best efforts things just don’t seem to be working out for you. You realize that if they continue in this way for much longer, you will soon be in trouble. The problem here is that you don’t know what you don’t know. You’re doing the best with what you know, but it’s not enough.
Here’s some invaluable advice from Matt Mayberry in an article in Entrepreneur: “If you spend an hour a day to learn about and research your field, you will instantly start to set yourself apart from your competition. Those hours begin to add up quickly and before you know it, you’ve entered an elite category.”
“It’s Supposed to be Hard”
Hardships happen to almost everyone who first starts a business. Those who succeed manage to stay in business long enough to get a chance to learn the skills they need to do better. When Todd Herman was first starting his private coaching business for elite athletes, he asked his mentor, the late Jim Rohn, why things weren’t working out for him despite his considerable years as an experienced coach. “It’s supposed to be hard,” said Jim Rohn. “Things don’t get easier, you just get better.”
Sometimes our calculated risk to start a business pays off and we move from strength to strength, figuring things out as we go. Unfortunately, more often than not, we discover we were too optimistic about our ability to build a business, missed a few warning signs on what we should have done, got hoodwinked by unscrupulous business mentors, partners, or vendors, and lost time, money, momentum and hope. This is actually a common experience among entrepreneurs, so if you’re struggling in your business right now, don’t give up. Analyze your business problem and figure out a logical solution. If one solution doesn’t work, then try another – until you find something that does work.