Each year, there are crazy statistics published on the numbers of entrepreneurial businesses destined to fail. As your own business owner, it’s likely you’re already aware of this. It’s all part of the risk!
However, a failing business isn’t something that appears one day. It creeps up on you day after day until you’re forced to accept the reality and close your doors. But what if we said you didn’t have to accept this? That you have chances to change your business and get it back on track before reaching a low point? Yes, it’s true!
It takes a lot of work, patience and money. But so does being an entrepreneur in the first place. As long as you stick to these 3 tips (and don’t skip any!) you’ll see your business begin to change for the better.
1. Plan Ahead
It goes without saying- though we’re going to say it anyway- that planning is essential. No longer can you rely on someone higher up to tell you what to do. Now that job falls on you! There will be so many seemingly impossible obstacles that appear in your way and it’s your responsibility to navigate through them effectively. Here’s a great quote to keep in mind:
“Running a business isn’t just about working in your business, it’s about working on your business.”
Working in your business requires knowledge of your market, the demographics and psychographics, customer service, taxes, paying employees, understanding where the market is headed, etc. So where does the idea of “working on your business” fit? Before you get too far into starting the business, you need to create a plan that accounts for growth as well as dips in revenue. A well thought-out plan needs to predict and plan for many different possible scenarios.
And when something happens that isn’t already planned out? It’s going to happen, no matter your level of preparation. However, looking at where you’ve been, the lessons you’ve already learned and the business’ ultimate goal will help you to get back on track to accomplishing your goal.
2. Time Management
A little bit of research will show that lack of “Time Management” almost always appears as a big factor in business failure. If we’re all aware of it, why do entrepreneurs undermine its’ importance?
Our guess is that certain tasks are more fun or interesting to others. Who wants to dive through the business expenses when there’s new product to create? However, each day only offers 24 hours, simply stated as 1,440 minutes, or just 86,400 seconds. If we waste this time, there’s no getting it back. Even just a few seconds ignoring a more important task will set you back big in the long run.
However, it’s understandable to procrastinate. For entrepreneurs, there is no 9-5 job! No, this is an all-consuming career path that requires much more time, thought, and management. Time management comes when you are completely brain-dead and exhausted to the bone, but you force yourself to just sit down and finish what you’ve started. Believe us when we say this is no easy skill to master!
If this is a skill you lack, there are plenty of books and research studies on different ways to manage time. Maybe you’ll go the route of breaking up your day into 15-minute increments. Or categorizing all tasks by importance and urgency and working your way from there. What you choose ultimately depends on what works best for your personality.
3. Soft Skills
You might be thinking “Soft skills? What does the ability to carry a conversation have to do with the success of a business?” A lot, actually. Soft skills is more than asking about the weather or how someone’s day is. Rather, it is a blend of communicating one’s thoughts and listening.
Let’s start with the first part. Communication revolves around sharing your ideas in a verbal and physical way. You can contradict yourself if your mouth is saying one thing and your body language is saying another. Also, learn what’s appropriate. So many times, people will burn a bridge because they choose to speak their mind, no matter now inappropriate the situation!
As for the second part, listening, Did you know there is a difference between hearing and listening? Hearing is simply perceiving sound, when you recognize there is noise. Listening, on the other hand, requires a conscious choice to concentrate and understand the sound’s meaning. So when someone’s talking, listening requires careful attention and analyzing their words.
If you are short-tempered, insecure, or intolerant of opposing ideas or opinions, you need to change–and quickly! Knowing how to correctly voice your thoughts and understand the thoughts of others can make or break your business.
Feel free to share this article with any new entrepreneurs you know! If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email us or comment on our social media.