The sad truth of business is that, of all the businesses that are launched globally, around 80% fail within the first two years. Does that mean you shouldn't follow your dream of going into business by yourself? Absolutely not. But it does mean that you have to take the time to consider why so many companies do not last the pace and how you can avoid the same fate.
In order to put this in perspective, here are three questions that you should ask yourself before you set sail on your latest entrepreneurial voyage. If you are answering ‘no' to all or any of these, there's a good chance you are destined to end up in that 80%.
Is your business different to the rest of the market?
In an increasingly crowded business market, the average consumer is finding it harder and harder to differentiate between competitive companies. The net result of this is lots and lots of businesses fighting over the same small bit of turf and very few ever being recognised as a standout company in their field.
The key to differentiating yourself in the eyes of the market is to work out what the value of your business is. What does your business have that the others do not?
Can you communicate what is valuable about your company?
In the history of failed business ideas, there is a whole chapter devoted to brilliant concepts that tanked because they were never properly explained to the target market. Once you know what makes your company standout, the next step is to figure out how to tell the customers.
Make sure your message is clear, concise and compelling. Always ensure all communication with a potential customer ends with a call to action – tell them why they should be interested in your product and then present them with a way to purchase it.
Are you a leader?
Every business needs one – a steering influence that has the ability to relate to those in their charge and keep the enterprise moving in the right direction. You might not have all the skills of a good business leader.
Perhaps you are a great people person but not so good with discipline. Or maybe you are brilliant with strategising but not so good when it comes to giving orders. If you lack some of the skills you will either have to learn them or partner up with somebody that has them. No company was ever successful without reliable leadership.