While failure is an inevitable part of life, nobody wants to experience it. In a business setting, there’s money on the line, pride and even livelihoods. However, as we tell our children when they experience failure, there are lessons to be learnt. Identifying and improving from such experiences will offer a path to progress and improvement. Here at 3rd Arm Admin, we like to think that failure is not fatal, rather it is the first attempt in learning.
The following are the list of things we see most often and some lessons that can be learnt…
1. Failure to Connect with Customers
Bill Gates once said “your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning”. If people do not buy what you sell, then your product or service is not aligned with what they want. You need to know your customer in order for your business to succeed; know what they want, how they want it, what it’s worth, and who wants it. You must really understand your customers and to achieve that you need to listen to them and then respond. Seek feedback from not only those who you know and trust, but from outsiders, and those who are within your target market but not yet using you.
Through listening to your clients, you will find the answers to two of the most critical questions for growing companies; what service / product you should deliver, and how much you should deliver it for. Get those two questions right and you’re on the road to success.
2. Failure to Communicate
Great communication with your customer once you have connected with them is essential. There is no sense in developing, creating, and selling the right product or service to fit the tastes of the consumers if they aren’t aware of the product or service. There is no denying that advertising costs money but you can be smart about it. There are many effective ways to reach out to your customer without having to break the bank!
Internal communication is just as, if not more, important. Good communication within your team allows for a clear vision and goes a long way to developing a successful business. After all, how can customers love your product or service if your own team don’t.
3. Failure to Adapt
Being set in your ways is not a great recipe for success. Failure to anticipate or react to an ever-evolving marketplace, competition and technology is not only risky, but it is foolish. If Steve Jobs had not adapted to the changing technology industry, we would not have the brilliant innovation, that is the iPhone. It takes good leadership to anticipate and adapt to change.
New technologies, fresh concepts, increasing competition, new developments – these are the engines of change and the right change will contribute to tremendous success for your business.
4. Failure to Manage Effectively
Mismanagement is one of the most common reasons small businesses fail. Too often, small business owners are trying to be everything to everyone, when in reality it is only further hurting their business. It is ok to not be it all, you don’t have to be the cleaner, the salesperson, the marketer, the accountant, the investor and the CEO all in one. Outsourcing has many benefits, such as increased efficiency, cost advantages, faster and better service to name a few.
5. Failure to Ensure Adequate Cash Reserves
In the early stages of a business’s life, you may go months until the company really begins to earn profits. Prepare for this by providing enough cash deposits or a schedule as to when you will need to obtain more capital. Cashflow to any sector is critical but it may be the difference between failing, surviving and flourishing for small businesses.
If you need a hand or want to discuss what’s going on for you and your business, please feel free to give us call on 04 2329199 or leave your details below and we will be in touch.