Entrepreneur Success Rate
Running a small business is no easy task. If it were easy everybody who started one would be a success. Instead, most small businesses don’t make it. Fifty percent fail in the first five years. Sixty percent fail in the first ten years. Those are sobering statistics. Are you a smart entrepreneur?
How can you avoid being a casualty? Start with these five things in mind.
The 5 Elements
There are five basic components to a small business.
- A product or service
- Marketing that product or service
- Selling that product or service
- Performance of the product or service
- Follow up
And then, as they say in the shampoo business, rinse and repeat.
Here is an example. Say you are an entrepreneur who makes clay bowls. That is your product.
Walk around your neighborhood and show the clay bowl to your neighbors. That is marketing.
When someone shows an interest, or asks about it, tell them the problem it will solve for them (a place to put liquids) and get them to pay you to give them the bowl. That it sales.
The bowl must perform. If it holds liquid and does not leak, it performs just the way you planned, and your customer requested.
You learn this by doing your follow-up to see if your customer is satisfied and if they might either want another one, need a replacement (clay bowls break when dropped) or would recommend your clay bowl to a friend or family member.
In the meantime, you go back and make another clay bowl and the process starts all over again.
If you got a good enough price for your clay bowl (made a profit) you then buy more supplies to make more clay bowls and pocket the profit. Seems pretty simple doesn’t it?
What Is Your Strength?
The fact is that you, as the owner and operator of this business are better at one of these components than the others. One of the keys to your success will be finding out which one. That is the one where you need to concentrate your efforts. You must ask yourself, if you want to be a successful entrepreneur, how you can best spend your time and efforts.
Is there something special about your clay bowl that necessitates you make it? Then concentrate your efforts there. Is it just a simple clay bowl that holds liquids? Maybe you could have someone else make the clay bowls and you concentrate on marketing, or sales.
Clearly the clay bowls have to perform as promised. So you can’t let the quality slip. Is customer follow up your forte?
You see, most entrepreneurs who fail, think they have to do it all. They believe that they are indispensable to every element of the business. That is usually not only inaccurate, it is counter-productive.
Rather than concentrate their efforts on their strengths, they spread themselves across the entire spectrum of the business model and dilute the value of their efforts in all categories.
So Much More
Of course there are even more components in running a business than the five mentioned above. There is bookkeeping, procurement, and staffing, just to name a few. Your business idea did not start with you dreaming about making entries into your accounting system each night unless you are a bookkeeper or accountant.
Your business may be providing a service. If it is a professional service such as medicine, law, accounting or counselling that is where you should most likely be concentrating your efforts. Surround yourself with people who can take up the other tasks. With few exceptions, most professionals do not even understand the difference between marketing and selling. And there is a difference.
Most likely you started your business out of a passion. Your passion might be making clay bowls or it might be selling, selling anything at all. If you get sidetracked, and most beginners do get sidetracked, you are going to lose your enthusiasm and your business.
When you are able to focus on what you do best you are going to see your business begin to thrive. Do not try and do it all.
I Can Help You Figure It Out
Take a good look at your business. Ask yourself whether someone else could take on some of the things you are doing so you can spend your valuable time better.
If you would be open to a conversation about how I could help you find this balance, contact me. The first consultation is free. There is no obligation.