Monday, October 23, 2006

Top reasons for lone-entrepreneurs to fail

Most of these mistakes are made at any time of your business life cycle, so keep an eye out for the signs.

1. Lack of focus or clear objectives

Trying to do too many things. Being everything to everybody. What product or services do you deliver expertly every time? If you don’t know the answer to this question neither do your clients.

2. The entrepreneur or business owner is not clear on what they stand for.

This links in with the previous point. If you are not clear on where it is that you are going then it often very difficult or impossible to get there.

3. Lack of well thought out strategy

A business run in a happy go lucky, or lets deal with problems when they arise type of strategy can be very dangerous to the bank balance. Results are scattered and you are always chasing the next wave. No clear direction. Need to set strategic plans for the year with action items and timeliness and track quarterly.

4. A poor, unreserved or not based on results type of marketing plan

Marketing efforts are not identifiable. Marketing is unstructured, follow up is non-existent and there is no clear identification of opportunities and where each opportunity stands in relation to turning into profitable business. Time for a forecasting tool to focus and track marketing efforts.

5. Customer service do not come first attitude

No measurable standard for customer service. Assumption is all staff are providing excellent customer service. If you cannot define your customer service levels, neither can your customers. If you don’t measure customer satisfaction you simply do not know how satisfied your customers are.

6. Lack of clear and well thought out business processes in place.

The fewer planned and tested processes in place in your business, the higher the probability that things can and will go wrong.

7. Review and adjust is not part of the strategy.

If you don't review your results and adjust your strategy in response, then how can you expect to improve your product or service?

8. Lack of vision

Not stopping and taking the time to daydream a little. So caught up in operating the business that can’t see the bigger picture. Some time away in rest, relaxation and rejuvenation gives a new perspective to why you’re in business.

9. To many balls in the air

Entrepreneurs are well known to think they can make a success of anything and every thing. This may be true for some, but even the hyper-successful entrepreneurs know that you need to focus on one idea at a time. Unless you have specific teams allocated to specific ventures, it will be very difficult for a business to create success without focus.

10. Remember to be excited

Always remember why you are in business in the first place. If you are no longer passionate and excited about what you do, it may be time to move on.


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