Despite the rather dismal figure that 90% of startups fail, this doesn’t prevent over 100 million businesses from launching each year.
I have hands on experience working for a startup, who recently let multiple staff members go and used the term ‘restructuring’. Whereas deep within the team, we could see issues arising at least a year before the cut backs.
So what makes a successful small business? Look to the entrepreneur.
A successful entrepreneur has the ability to realise when it’s time to walk away from a business. They will not pour more money, hours and resources into it, rather learn from their mistakes and rise again with a different venture.
So what are the 3 most important signs your startup is going under?
1. LOW SALES – The most obvious signs would be low sales. We’re not talking about a quiet quarter through the summer holidays here (which can be expected ) but rather an all round annual slump. Without sales, it will become impossible to invest in future ideas and more importantly, to pay your employees.
To try to rectify it, it’s vital you research the issue as soon as possible. Do not underestimate the knowledge of your own customer service team. I don’t think I have EVER worked with an employee that was transparent enough to walk over to the customer services team and simply ask, what do you think? What are the customers saying? when we have signs of a drop in figures. In general, a company will hide this uncertainty from their employees thus to avoid any discomfort and try to continue along seamlessly….. while the sales continue to drop. ASK your staff!
NO ONE TALKS ABOUT YOU – If no one is mentioning you on social media, then it simply goes to show you are not interacting with a huge amount of customer potential.
We can only avoid social media for so long before we realise it’s an integral part of our business. Facebook alone can provide small businesses with up to 50% of it’s customers when used correctly, so it would be foolish to underestimate the dramatic benefits a digital marketer can bring to your business. Designated PA brought in digital marketing support 6 months ago and now we have more than doubled our UK target audience.
YOUR BUSINESS IS NOT UNIQUE – Every business will have their competitors, but when it comes to releasing a product that has already been in the market for over 10 years, with recognised global brands, then it’s a completely different ball game.
Hopefully you would have conducted market research before launching to see if this is an already saturated market. If not, try to jot down all the things that make your business unique. This could even be something as simple as we are a green company as we use recycled produce. Use this as your marketing strength.
Too much to take on yourselves? Have you thought about hiring experienced personal assistants whom you can pay per hour, thus avoiding full time contracts? Whether it be bookkeeping, admin or even our incredible team of digital marketers?
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