We’ve all heard the common statistic that is often cited about the huge number of small businesses that fail in their first year. For many, this serves to put them off embarking in the amazing, inspiring and often crazy path to becoming an entrepreneur. But it really shouldn’t be that way.
With the amazing technology available at our fingertips, the laptop lifestyle is fast becoming the norm for many, and it lends itself well to coaches who are looking to spread their word to others around the world. But it’s also very easy to fall into some common traps which will prevent your entrepreneurial dreams from becoming a reality. So I’m shining a light on the 3 most common reasons why start-ups fail, and the simple strategies you can put in place to ensure this doesn’t happen to you too.
- Lack of focus
This is really common with new entrepreneurs, and one I’ve been partial too as well. When you’re just starting out, it’s such a new and exciting time, and it’s very easy to get swept along by the tide of ideas, and not actually get anything DONE.
Concentrate on one project at a time, and make sure you finish it before you move onto the next big thing. Keep a notepad with you so that you can jot down new ideas as they come up, but try not to fall into the trap of having to instigate everything straight away. Give your ideas the time they need to develop before you make a start – you’ll find that over time some will start to lose their shiny lustre, whilst others will shine even brighter – these are the ones you should follow, they are the ideas which have real value, and most importantly the ones you’ll be able to see through to the end.
- Not asking for help when you need it
Think you can do it all on your own, right? Wrong, my friend. Whilst I fully understand that as bootstrapping start-ups we take on many roles in our businesses, from CEO to accountant to graphic designer, the average entrepreneur has tried their hand at them all. But there comes a point in your business when it’s really important to ask for help, whether that be from a VA, an accountant or a marketing coach, in order to see your business grow.
Start small by outsourcing a one-off task, so that you get used to employing people to work in your business. Then you can make sure you have all the systems and processes in place to ensure a smooth transition when you bring in regular help.
- Not devoting enough time to marketing
This is a real biggie for small business owners. The dreaded ‘m’ word! You’ve got a fantastic idea and you’ve put together some awesome packages that you KNOW will be transformational for your clients, and yet you don’t put the time and effort into getting them out there and in front of your ideal client.
Growing your presence takes time. I know social media, blogs, newsletters and the like can seem like a massive time suck when you’ve got the important work of your ACTUAL business to get on with.
And as for PR? So many entrepreneurs I work with think they’re not ready to get featured in the press, and they wouldn’t know where to start even if they wanted to. This couldn’t be further from the truth – when you’re in the start-up phase, you don’t need to invest thousands on a PR agency to get featured, so long as you follow the right process. And you don’t need to be one of the big guns to get featured – your unique story is far more important than the size of your business, and it’s one that readers will find fascinating.
Spend some time each week & month planning out your marketing so that it doesn’t become overwhelming. Start with a year planner and plot out all the important dates as they come up during the year, then work backwards. Each month, jot down the key dates for the month, then on a weekly basis you can think about the inspired action you will take that week. Focus on one key topic and activity each week, so that you save yourself time and keep ahead of the game. And if you want to get featured in magazines and blog sites, take the bull by the horns and draft a pitch email to their editor, you may just be surprised by the outcome!
Rebecca Miller works with inspiring entrepreneurs to help them grow their business through soulful marketing and creative PR. She founded her business, Write & Reach, in 2013, and has created The Publicity Programme ™ where she shows entrepreneurs step-by-step how to make their business famous and get featured in top magazines and blogs. Becs is passionate about creativity and believes entrepreneurs can build it into everything they do, whatever their business.
The Publicity Program: http://www.thepublicityprogram.com/