While we met, one of my acquaintances was found very depressed. When asked, he described the reason behind it. He was going to close his business in no time. In fact, he had no other way because of not any significant progress in business yet after a long time. This article intends to discuss about silent killers of business success and how to destroy them.
What were his mistakes that triggered his downfall? Let’s consider his case study that should be a learning material for others. Statistics says, between 65% and 80% of all businesses in the US fail within 10 years. If we reverse this data, 20%-35% business also get success. We must get that!
You are doing your ‘best’ to survive in your business. You have made a handsome investment, did good in marketing, have a trail of experience, took an impressive office at the business hub of the city with smart interiors, lucrative website, catchy business card and a long queue of prospective customers. Still, you are facing difficulty to emerge significantly. Your business growth is not mentionable.
What should you do right at this point. This blog is going to give some solutions for the survivors to make a successful U turn from a bad situation of his business. Know about the silent killers of business success and how to destroy them. Let’s have a look!
1. Not tracking your business
Think about a cowboy. He has hundreds of cows, that he takes away to the plateau to feed up regularly. The cowboy has no counting about how many cows he has actually. He has not even enough rope to tie the cows up well and control by his own.
It supposed to be a good business, but in fact he cannot thrive. Some of his cattle loiter away to graze here and there. Finally, these are lost randomly. The cowboy can’t track them well, therefore his number of cows are decreasing day by day.
Now relate this example with business you are running. You assume it should be going well. But, unless you do not set control and track your business activities, it wont work well. Track every possible areas you come across on way of your business journey.
All your supply chain, accounts, human resources, consumers should be under your tracking. Initially it can be manually, but you should go for automation in every possible areas appropriately. Your mobile, apps or software can be handy.
To save money, you can develop your manual or even Excel sheet by any expert. The tracking should be accountable for your everyday activities, big or small. You do not know what small thing would be proved costly in future.
2. Not running on a system
The earth moves round the sun. It has a fixed speed and distance it covers at a specific time span. Day and night comes one after another, that never overlaps each other.
The other planets are following their ways all the year round. It is the system of the universe that keeps it smooth all the time. This is the perfect system that keeps the earth and all other particles of the universe as perfectly as possible on its goal.
Think about our human body. It is okay as long as the internal body system runs well. When the system crashes, we face sickness of many kinds.
Business is not different than this. It should have it’s own system. Every successful entrepreneur runs her business in a systematic way. If you don’t have system, you should develop it. Without proper system, any business must collapse sooner or later.
Check out whether your business runs with proper procedures and policies or not. You should have required software, and module to make your system, there should be updated accounting system to operate your earning, profit, loss, receivable, etc.
Keep your HR system okay to fix roles and responsibilities of your man power, also check all activities are running according to system. Are your employees maintaining office timings? Does your marketing campaigns have proper schedule? Adopting technology is a good way to develop system easily.
You’re going to reward to tour promising employees on their extraordinary performances, according to your system. If something goes not as per your day to day system, you must rely on your recovery system. The summary is that, as much systematic you are, your business goes better and better.
3. Not having a predictable schedule
What is your plan this year to travel? How much money you plan to save? What have you list down a products list you are going to purchase? What are anniversaries you are going to wish your dear ones? As a well planned person, I am sure you have your personal schedule up to date.
What about your business? Have you predicted your business schedule and planned how to handle them? Yes. Whatever the process of documentation be, every business should have a predictable schedule for the future.
Schedule can be of long term and short term. I prefer to go with a long term schedule segmented to many small schedules. What products are you going to launch in next 3 months, or 6 months? Which clients are you going to handle in the current month, on next month? How many sale you have targeted by next 2 months, or four months?
Keeping an updated schedule for your business, and maintaining as much as you can match up, will be good enough. A schedule is a driving force that triggers a businessman to achieve it. What if you can’t keep all of your schedule?
The good thing of keeping a schedule is, in case you miss some of them by the projected time, your next goal will surely be in the list. When you cannot keep all of your schedule, you can analyze the reasons behind, and recover them next.
4. You’re too cheap
The word “cheap” has many implication in business. Business is all about winning emotion of the target market. It is to positioning in the heart. Turn a one time customer to a permanent customer. Create a unique brand identity to the target group. Set a class impression. And, becoming cheap can be enough to spoil everything you gain.
What is being “cheap” in business? When an entrepreneur undergo with stuff as follows:
- Products that is already superfluous in the market.
- Price of the products as cheap as possible (lowest in the market)
- Make cheap marketing campaign in a cheap (that has no class) medium.
- Hire cheap, unskilled manpower to save money
Source cheap, low quality supply chain
- Nurture cheap business ideas
- Set a cheap office space in a low quality area
- Get a cheap website domain with cheap and unattractive design and erratic contents
- Target cheaper market
- Unplanned business planning and execution come out from cheap brains
Avoid being any of these to be a successful entrepreneur.
5. Not having protocols for everything
There should be a sequence of everything. Life has a pattern, it has a decorum. When you start your dress up with suit and end up with undergarments, how does it look like? Is it the chain of command?
There should be specific goal to every action associated to your venture. Who should be doing what, is to be pre-decided. Action and plan should proceed sequentially. When you maintain protocol in for everything, you get leverage on your objective. Know about the silent killers of business success and how to destroy them.
6. No deadlines
Life itself has a deadline. We are approaching death and one day the end of our lives will be appearing. Setting deadline is a natural rule. It is an awakening of specific triggers that help executing any job on time.
In Case of product, there is a depreciation after a certain period of time. When you fix your deadline to finishing any job on time, you feel an urge in the heart to finish. Finishing your assignments reach you to your objective. You can have your other jobs done as well.
Business should have deadline to finish any job. Time is valuable. You are not in a situation to let your valuable time in vain. Make your every moment fruitful. Meeting deadline on small assignments will be a good indication to think and achieve big.
To achieve your short business goals, there is no other way but to set and meet deadline. Large business goals are the parts of many small goals. This is crucial factors for your business success.
7. Rarely hitting goals
Sometimes, hitting goal is much more meaningful than achieving goal. For a successful business, there should have achievable goals. Having continuous goals (and achieving them) keep a business rolling. What are your business goal this week?
All of your business departments should have their individual goals. Check out what goals are set this week from your business sections- marketing, accounts, HR, product development, training, production, sales, web, research, public relations, IT, and planning. Are these achievable? Do your business units hit these goals?
8. React instead of initiate
Learn to absorb criticism. Show your openness to opinion and recommendation. Feedback is important to rectify your business ideas. Opinions are important for improvement. Some businessmen cannot stand with criticism, outbursts come across as a part of reaction. It’s not fair. Learn how to develop a successful negotiation strategy for your business.
Initiate your action. It is far more productive than showing reaction. Count your criticism as the trigger for your revenge. A sweet revenge to improve your position, not by reacting, rather by initiating. Starting is the very first step of finishing. When you will be reacting, instead of doing, your goal will never ends. As an entrepreneur with a big picture in mind, I am sure you don’t want that. Know about the silent killers of business success and how to destroy them.
9. Lack of urgency
Every action is not equally important. Setting priority of your actions is a good thing to be on track, to be systematic and to bring outcome. Realize the urgency of your action. While setting the there must be set priority of your sub tasks. Vision can understand what is urgent and what is not.
It happens in case you need to accomplish multitasks. Calculating the impact of profit, loss, volume, and or impact are good factors to determine urgency. Timing is a good trigger to fulfill urgency. Value your time. In a cricket match, timing is above all other tricks and techniques to batter the ball with the bat to score a sixer.
What you can do now should not keep pending for the other day, in case you sense it emergency. You don’t know who else will take the chance today and surpass your efforts. In case it’s urgent to meet your clients than having a meeting with your teammates, do that.
Some businessmen can’t read what matter is urgent and what is not. They always lag behind and eventually leave the business with blaming their fates.
10. Not knowing what you want
I know a person who is very unstable with his decisions. Three of them started a business on selling showpieces. It was a good one. After five and a half years when we met again, he was found in a photography business with other partners.
When I dug deeper, he told in the last 5 years, he changed 3 business with 3 group of partners. As usual the business was not going well. The reason behind this imminent failure was nothing but his instability in goal setting. He didn’t know what he wanted! He was a man with confusion and dilemma. This important personal trait negativity affected his business career.
Don’t cultivate this blunder! It is you who should know the best what you want. Don’t listen to others. Talk to your soul to have your answers:
- Is this the business your passion where you are in?
- Can you stick to this at least 3 years consistently despite of any obstacles that may come across?
- Have you set your month by month and year by year goal in business?
These questions you should consider with authentic answers to decide your days to come. Know about the silent killers of business success and how to destroy them.
11. No desire to want to learn
Life is a continuous learning process. There are many ingredients in nature, in persons, in incidents, and in examples around us. These are the indications of life. Who can learn from her surroundings, can distinctly make her life different than others.
As a businessman, you should have a tendency to learn from the environment. Sometimes you have to learn from others, sometimes by doing mistakes in your life. Whatever the situation, learn. Consistent learning will grow your expertise, you turn experience. Learning has no alternative to shaping yourself up. And there is no end of learning. Know about crucial life lessons people learn too late. Know about the silent killers of business success and how to destroy them.
You can learn from your mentors, from your competitors, and other businessmen whom you have to connection at all. Consider these learning your case studies.