Do you know that 4 out of every 5 businesses fail or collapse within the first five years of existence?
Have you ever asked why do entrepreneurs fail to succeed in business? Why do most startups fail? Are you an entrepreneur? Are you going to succeed in business or not? Well, I advice you read on to find out if you are heading for success or not. Though I am not wishing you failure, I will like to provide some pointers to why most entrepreneurs fail in business and how you can avoid business failure. All I ask of you is a willingness to learn and in open mind.
This article is really going to be personal and touching. Why? The reason is because this article will force you to take a look at your life. Many individuals hate being told the bitter truth but I will be using this article as a medium to tell you the straight truth; so it’s up to you to learn from this truth.
1. Lack of a well defined purpose
“Definiteness of purpose is the starting point of all achievements”-W.Clement Stone
Lack of well defined purpose is the major reason why entrepreneurs fail to succeed in business. I have met a lot of entrepreneurs who are living without purpose. They have no vision, no mission, no sense of direction and no specific goal. They wake up each day to say let me see what the day holds for me. Some of them are going into business just because they feel their next door neighbour is living a good life style by selling garri, who told them that his only source of income is from sales of garri? They operate their business with no set goal. Their life is mostly driven by fate. They have lost control of their destinies.
“Control your destiny or someone else will” Jack Welch
2.Lack of Planning
There is this adage that says "He, who fails to plan, plans to fail" Running a startup or any other type of business is hard. We all know that. As an entrepreneur myself, I can tell you firsthand of what a seemingly insurmountable obstacle it can be at times to achieve business success. With so many responsibilities at once, how are you supposed to keep your head above water?
Running a business isn’t just about working in your business, it’s about working on your business. But when you’re dealing with the stresses of trying to market, do sales, customer service, accounting, taxes, and payroll, how are you ever supposed to work on your business?
The first thing that will set the successful entrepreneurs apart from the failures is their ability to plant . Failure to plan will almost always result in a failed business. But, when planning becomes a priority, and your steps towards goal achievement are mapped out, success is far more in your reach.
Imagine this for a moment if you will. A Bus takes off from Abuja, heading over to Lagos. That bus has a goal — its goal is to get to Lagos at a predetermined time on a predetermined day. In order for the bus to achieve its goal, it needs to create and follow a plan. The bus’ plan is called its trip plan, which has a trip path, an average speed and kilometer to cover and a general direction of travel. It knows that it needs to leave Abuja at a specific time if it’s going to arrive in Lagos at the estimated arrival time all things being equal.
Now, imagine for a moment if the bus had no plan. A goal without a plan is merely a wish. It’s a hope that things might pan out. Could you imagine for a moment if the bus had no clue how it was going to arrive at its goal? Such bus can head towards Kano from Kano to Bida fro Bida to Jos then finally heads to Lagos. A journey of eight to nine hours turn to eight days. No, you couldn’t imagine it, could you? And if you could, then it’s a cold stark world that we’re living in.
3.Lack of self discipline
This also a major reason why entrepreneurs fail to succeed in business. Entrepreneur that lacks self discipline can never succeed. Discipline starts with self control and self control is a product of a strong self imposed personal values.
“Procrastination is a thief of time they say”
It is time natural assassin Ajaero Tony Martins said “Show me a failure and I will show you a man, who does today, what he should have done yesterday” While you are busy procrastinating the smart ones could have executed your ideas and, move ahead.
Procrastination is a result of laziness and strong resistance to leave your comfort zone.
5. Lack of Persistence
Most entrepreneurs’ failure is due to a lack of persistence. It’s hard running a business. Very hard at times, you want to scream at the top of your lungs and rip your hair out at the same time. And one of the reasons why 8 out 10 businesses fail in the first 18 months is due to a lack of persistence. Of course, the other factors come into play, but it all really boils down to persistence. You never actually know how close you were to success before you gave up. You could have been just right there. But if you throw in that towel and give up, how would you ever know how close or far away you were?
Yet, this also boils down to a level of commitment. How committed are you to achieving your goals and what are your fundamental reasons why you must succeed in the first place? When the reasons are deep-rooted reasons rather than superficial ones, we usually end up pushing through. There’s a bigger picture that we’re working towards that supersedes things like money. When your reasons outweigh your excuses, in that they are profound and deep-rooted reasons like family, security, freedom, and country, then you’ll always stay persistent. You have to search for those reasons if you’re going to truly succeed at business.
There’s a famous story about a general that always comes to mind when I think about persistence. The general landed his battalion on the shores of a foreign country prepared to go to battle. Once all the soldiers disembarked, he had them line the beach by the thousands to begin a speech that would prepare them for battle. However, what the soldiers didn’t realize was that as the general was speaking, he had sent dozens of his lieutenants to burn those same ships that brought them there. The enemy they were about to face outnumbered them 5 to 1 and he knew that if the soldiers thought they could retreat and head back to the ships, they would never win.
Once the soldiers realized what the general was doing, they were outraged. But he continued on with his speech. He told them that the only way to get back home to their families was straight through. If they failed, they would never see their loved ones again. This invoked a sense of determined spirit that hadn’t existed before. The army won that war and the general was hailed as a hero. But it would have never happened if he hadn’t burned those ships. He gave them no choice for retreat. Similarly, in business, you have to burn the ships. You can’t think about going back to a life-sucking 9- to-5 job. Make it so that there’s no option for retreat. When your back is up against the wall, you’ll be surprised at just what you can achieve and accomplish because you have no choice. There are no excuses you can give to yourself. You have to do it or suffer a life that’s devoid of any joy or happiness whatsoever. If you can master the art of persistence, then you can master entrepreneurship.
The simple fact remains that you have to remind yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing. You need a greater reason for it. The soldiers’ reasons instantly transformed once those ships were burned. If they didn’t succeed, they would never see their families again. That trans-formative shift created a very compelling reason that made it so they absolutely had to succeed.
So, if you don’t want to be plagued by one of these five reasons for failing as an entrepreneur, have a clearly defined purpose, stay organized, by constantly planning, make sure you effectively manage your time, you need to have strong self imposed personal values and burn the ships by being persistent. Remember no retreat no surrender you need to move on. The only way forward, is to march right through it.
Forward ever backward never!