Posts Tagged ‘business failure’

How to Be One of the Few to Avoid Small Business Failure

Why do small businesses fail? The Small Business Administration (SBA) has researched small business failure extensively. Back in 2004, the SBA identified the launch of 580,900 new employer businesses and the closing of 576,200. This report suggests that every minute one business is closing while one is opening.



More current research suggests this small business failure rate is in decline. Yet with over 70% of all businesses here in the US being non-employed (meaning having no employees) and these small businesses included as both full and part time, determining the actual small businesses failure rate today is difficult.

Many business writers to business coaches attribute business failure to a lack of strategic planning, a lack of leadership, a lack of vision, a lack of processes, the list is endless. Dan Kennedy, a renowned marketing and sales expert said that there is no business success or failure, but rather people success and people failure. However, the problem with identifying one reason for small business failure is the problem.

Businesses are complex by their very nature even the SOHO. To believe that only one factor will either make or break a business is foolhardy and contributes to the silo solution mentality. This approach is simply stated like this: If I fix this one problem, then everything else is OK.

Successful businesses harness what I call the dynamic forces of performance – strategic planning, execution and measurement. These forces, much like the forces in nature, act upon each performance field such as profitability, customer service, growth and innovation just to name a few. When all 3 forces are in alignment, the field experiences tremendous energy and improved performance happens. The processes of People, Goal Achievement and Quality unite the forces and close any performance gaps between the forces.

All of these forces and processes operate within the eye of leadership. Effective leadership is necessary to manage each of the forces as well as the processes. If leadership is not present, then the forces fail to maximize their impact upon the field and business failure is the ultimate result.

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Leanne Hoagland-Smith is THE People and Process Problem Solver. She supports forward thinking leadership in bridging the gaps between the two problems restricting strategic business growth – people and processes. Leanne can be reached at 219.508.2859 central time USA.  Follow her on Twitter or check out her profile on LinkedIn.

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No Time to Market – Friday’s Editorial

Yesterday, I was speaking with another crazy busy small business owner who was directing her energy to selling, delivering her solutions and her own professional development. I asked about her marketing efforts and she replied she was trying.

Courstey of Bing Images

As the great philosopher Yoda said “There is no try, just do!”

Marketing must come first and to believe you have no time to market is really saying “I do not want to increase sales!” When small business owners to those sales people have the “not time to market” belief or attitude, they are traveling down the well worn path of business failure.

Additionally, yesterday I received an email from a colleague whom I had not heard from in a couple of years.  She informed me she was doing am Internet search and one of my articles on business failure came up as number one. Her email congratulated me on my marketing success.

Approximately 6 years I realized that my marketing efforts were not working.  I decided to revamp my marketing approach, craft a new action plan with some short and long term goals and redirect my actions so that my efforts would create a long tail and help to ensure marketing success.

This significant course correction now has me embracing an education based marketing approach as well as a very targeted focus in some key areas. Additionally, I changed my target markets to allow for further “niche” marketing.  This redirection also involved me expanding my solution offerings and required some expensive professional development. Sales Training Coaching Tip: Marketing is an evolving process especially for the majority of small business owners with no employees.

Now nearly 6 years later, I am on target as demonstrated by my articles coming up in searches. Additionally this business and sales blog which is now over a year old has continued to deliver  both visitors and solid sales leads.

The “No time to market” tells me the crazy busy small business owners or sales people may lack a plan and probably even more important:

  1. Do not understanding marketing
  2. Would rather be doing anything else other than marketing

My course correction involved a personal choice on my side. I realized that there are only 24 hours in a day and to accomplish both long and short term goals I needed more time. So I made a decision to get up earlier.  The initial weekday get up time was 6:00 am.  This was peeled back to 5:30, then 5:00 and now is at 4:30.  I am considering to 4:00am to allow 30 minutes of reading as my reading time has been curtailed.

Marketing is a time consuming process and that is why it is important to have a plan, a calendar and be willing to make those necessary course corrections when new trends emerge that may affect your ability to increase sales. So if you have the “no time to market’ attitude, then let’s be honest and say “you have not time for business.

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