Starting your own business is a roller coaster ride of success and failure, happiness and reward and financial hardship. It is hoped, that after a year or two of hard work and determination, the rollercoaster twists and turns will begin to straighten out. However for some, this never occurs and no matter how much determination and will, the business fails to take off.
Here are some tips to help you avoid business failure:
Choose the right business for you…
When times are hard, you must still have the passion, love and determination for what you do to keep the ship sailing forward. Long hours will be demanded of you, a strong mind to stay positive when things reach a low, your love for what you do will help you develop new ideas and methods to move forwards.
Is your idea viable?
Before you set up your business and plough your time and investment into it, make sure you have done enough research to assess whether there will be demand for what it is you will offer. You must be sure you can sell your services or products and actually make a return.
If you are unsure, you can always gather a focus group together to test out your idea and gain valuable feedback. If your product is aimed towards children for example, contact parent groups to see if it is possible to go along and present your idea. Most people are more than happy to get involved and offer you advice. When you are so involved within developing a product, marketing it and branding it, your judgement can become clouded, so you might gain so very worthwhile advice or suggestions which you simply might have missed.
Don’t give into fear…
Fear is said to be something that holds 36% of new businesses back from progressing. Fear of rejection and failure can hold businesses at a stand-still. If you don’t apply for something from fear of rejection in your mind you tell yourself you haven’t failed because you weren’t rejected, and you can try one day. In reality you have failed yourself by not trying. Rejection is nothing to be ashamed of, EVERY business faces regular rejection, the trick is to apply and aim for as much as possible, because the likelihood is that eventually you will receive a yes.
Don’t take criticism or rejection personally, and assume your ideas or products are bad and have no future, it simply just wasn’t right for that particularly opportunity, move onto the next.
Watch the cash flow…
Money can be easily wasted on items you might not actually need. Most businesses fail to prepare a budget and suddenly money can be fritted away on items which might actually not help the business progress any further. Each purchase must be thought out, within your planned budget, and required by the business to help it progress further.
We all have aspirations for our business, and the best, but you might not have a business a few years down the line so purchase items such as packaging and display etc which fits your budget. In the future when your budget allowance increases you can then spend more on these items.
Sometimes you watch others gain opportunity after opportunity, while you have to fight your way to the top. Keep hunting out and apply for opportunities for your business no matter how big or small. You can easily compare yourself to other businesses and feel as though you aren’t progressing, yet others are. The trick is to keep going, believe in what you have to offer and go for every chance. Sometimes small opportunities are the stepping stone to success.
A PR agency can be a huge boost to your success if you can stretch you budget. In time your PR company should be able to pay for itself with the business it will bring. What a PR company will be able to do is have access to press and celebrity opportunities which can really boost your company profile. The other gain is that they will be able to really sell your brand and generate excitement about what you have to offer. It will also provide you with the time to focus on other aspects of your business. Before agreeing a contract, make sure you set goals for them to achieve and outline what you really want them to do for you, and research a wide range of companies, paying attention to their client list. The last thing you want to do is waste a large amount of budget on a PR company who doesn’t gain you the exposure you are striving for.
About the author: Kirsten set her business up in 2011 making personalised jewellery. She sells her work online and through galleries.