When someone comes up with a brilliant idea they start a business because they genuinely believe it will yield a good return. No one ever starts off with the intention of failing.
Companies House figures released on the 30th of July 2020 reveal that:
- 14606 companies were dissolved.
- 92840 companies were in liquidation.
With so many people losing their jobs due to Covid-19 in 2020, a lot of businesses have been set up. How many of those will still be running five years from now? We may not be able to predict the exact figures but based on historical data 60% will not be in business.
Rather than discussing why they may fail, let us approach this from a different angle. Let us talk about what may prevent or significantly reduce the probability of failure. Start by asking yourself the right questions.
1. Who are you?
Who are you? Ask yourself this question and answer it honestly. This goes beyond the labels life has given you: father, mother, daughter, son, etc. The way you see yourself may be different to how others see you so ask your network for feedback. Send them a questionnaire asking for feedback on:
Ask them to list 3 to 4 things which they can count on you for.
Ask them to tell you what they think you don’t do so well or your pet hates.
Your unique abilities
Ask them how they see you as a person and what they believe you are good at.
2. What do you do?
A lot of our choices and decisions are influenced by what we do. I am not just talking about your job. I am talking about your habits, your dreams, who you have in your inner circle. All those factors have a huge influence on the outcome you get. Someone once said that you are the sum total of the five people closest to you.
If you can’t CHANGE your circle, then change your CIRCLE. The people around you will either help or hinder you at the start. They will either pull you up or push you down when you hit the bumps.
If you can make it through that initial period of incessant tedium that comes with being a beginner, you’re about 80 percent of the way there. It’s the beginning that ruins people, not the whole journey, but people don’t know that because they never make it past the beginning. - Ayodeji Awosika
Starting anything requires you to put in a lot of hard work and you may have nothing to show for it for a long time.
3. Who do you do it for?
You need to know what type of people you intend to serve in your business. Start by drawing up a good business plan. It will force you to do the necessary research and provide clarity. Good questions to ask are:
- What are your ideal customer’s hobbies and passions?
- Where does your ideal customer shop and why?
- What is their age, gender and marital status?
- What is their income?
- Who does your ideal customer want to become?
4. What do they want or need?
It has been said many times by different people that the best way to make money is to solve a problem.
You may be experiencing a problem. You may even think that you are the only one experiencing that problem. However, there is a good chance that other people are searching for a solution.
The founder of Spanx, Sarah Blakely, was getting ready for a party when she realised she did not have the right undergarment to give her outfit a smooth look. Because of her creative genius we now have Spanx.
What products and/or services will you be offering to meet the needs of your customers?
5. How will they change/benefit as a result?
Your customers should benefit as a result of using your service. Address their point of pain.
Will they be more attractive?
Will they will lose weight safely and easily?
Will they will become successful?
If you lack clarity, do more research and go back to the drawing board. Do this until you are clear about what you want to do.
Following these steps will put you ahead of the game. Your business may not become the next big thing but it will certainly not crash at the first hurdle.
60% of new businesses fail within 3 years of starting. Yours doesn’t have to be one of them.