For every startup success story out there, there are dozens of small businesses that fail by the minute. Be it a lack of cohesion, not utilizing the channels available whether free or paid, and not paying attention to their own communications, we explore the reasons why this occurs.
Not Cultivating Active Relationships
Be it Facebook friends, Twitter connections, Instagram followers, friends of Facebook friends, LinkedIn connections, referrals; there are so many ways out there to attract new business that don’t require you to break your bank. You have a bridge of connections that lead to other connections, and while it can be slightly impersonal, it’s still more effective than cold calling. Especially if you know for a fact they could really use what you offer, and it’s easy to pinpoint whom those people are since there is so much information available on the person you’re going to speak with (unlike a cold prospect).
Not being on the same page as colleagues
I’ve run into people in meetings where the people within this new company are all over the place, no clearly defined roles and various people chipping in at every turn. To no one’s surprise, their store was empty; they have 6-7 talking heads with various fancy titles and undefined roles. Instead of simplification, we had complexity. The business’ infrastructure was fancy – the inner-workings were not.
When we ran our sales meeting, people would up and leave, and a new person would come in half way through our conversation not aware of what we already covered, asking questions which we already addressed.
This also happens when the interested parties are having several on-going projects outside of their sole business they are developing. The various members of this venture handed me business cards from other companies they worked for, not the one they are working on currently. Many of the people involved in this venture were not 100% invested in this venture, and worked for other brands and had several businesses.
The amount of focus and tunnel vision required to make a sole business work is paramount, and spreading yourself too thin can be a detriment to your project, which requires hours of hard work and timely investment.
If you’re not a sole-proprietor, make sure you know exactly what each of you brings to the table within your start-up, and have clearly defined roles and objectives, as well as invest everything into your business, and don’t treat it as a hobby.
Not Taking Advantage of Free Social Media Marketing / Content marketing
Writing content has multiple uses. If your content is good, other interested parties will share it socially. It also shows Google you’re actively updating your website with new relevant content, and this helps your website get listed on Google for various keywords that drive traffic to your website.
Sharing pictures – hashtags on Instagram, contest giveaways, promotions are all good and easy free ways to gain a following.
This is one of the key elements of a successful business. Communicating with your current clients daily / weekly. Be proactive, reach out, and keep your clients updated. Be quick to address issues and help them resolve problems, and put them first, I cannot stress that enough.
I’ve bought services from other vendors, only to feel like the seller believed he was superior to me in every way. My complaints went by the wayside, and they tried to tell me I was wrong even when I had a legitimate gripe with their services. Any time I had a complaint about problems, I would be told to upgrade and buy a new service, instead of addressing my current existing problems. How am I supposed to trust your other services if you can’t get this one right? Don’t be that person when dealing with your customers.
While there is many ways a business can fail, these are some of the main ones I had found were particularly problematic throughout my business experience.