“But then it all stops.” The Truth Why Most Small Business Start-ups Fail in Their First Year

 

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Are you ready to start thinking like an entrepreneur?

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 That’s the definition I ripped of off thefreeddictionary.com, but here is how I would define the word entrepreneur.

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n.A person who takes a giant leap of faith, gets their teeth kicked in about a dozen times, but continues to strive towards a predefined goal. They willingly assume the risk associated with doing business, and use every tool in their arsenal to increase their chances for success.

(From the dictionary of Andy “The Marketing Guy”)

While almost every entrepreneur I’ve met fits that definition, the one place where there seems to be a lackluster effort, is in the use of their tools. They’ll use the bank to obtain money for startup, buy necessary filler for their storefront, make sure everything is up to code, increase the size of the parking lot, and hang a fancy sign over their front door advertising that they are seriously “in business.”

But then it all stops. They go from playing an active role in building their legacy, to becoming completely reactive. Only taking action when they are forced too, and willingly ceasing to educate themselves on the new business practices that will help them grow.

For me, that’s what sucks the most! With a stunning 75% of small business start-ups failing in their first year (read for yourself), one would think that a self-proclaimed entrepreneur would do everything in his or her power to increase their odds. I’ve sat down with dozens of people in this community who have grown nostalgic for a past when small businesses thrived. A time when quitting your day job to begin working for yourself, wasn’t a perceived death sentence.

I know times are hard for a lot of people, myself included, but the reality is that when you decide to pull that trigger, and step out on your own as an entrepreneur, quitting should never be an option. As long as you bring something to the table which the public wants and needs, they will find the money to buy it from you.

Period.

But here is where most business owners fail. They setup shop with an awesome product or service, they create a stunning storefront, print out 250+  new business cards, setup their email address, and then….

They wait.

And wait.

And wait.

After about six to eight months of waiting, they decide to pack it all in, and head back to the grind…the grind that they haven’t missed since the day the left.

But what if, at around month three or four of waiting, someone walks into their failing store and places this card on the counter. No words are exchanged; the person simply drops the little 4”x6” card right next to the barely used register and walks out.

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As entrepreneurs, we can never assume that our customers or prospects know that we exist. It is up to us to expose our value, and promote the benefits associated with our products or services. There has never been a single man, woman or child who has sought out a business that sold a product they didn’t want to buy. Once they become informed of why they need our goods, and where to buy them, then, and only then, will they take the steps required to make a purchase.

Money is then exchanged, bills are paid, paychecks are honored and business goes on.

But if we fail to shout our existence from the roof tops, and use all means possible to convey our message, we will be sure to stop existing. Our entrepreneurial hearts will be replaced with a closed sign, and all of our sacrifices will have been for nothing.

An excuse is often to blame for the lack of a business’s marketing efforts.

“We have no money.”

“We’re just not “that” type of business.”

“People will come to us!”

And my personal favorite.

“I don’t understand technology and I don’t want to learn.”

Do you remember the definition for the term entrepreneur from above? Not mine, but the one I swiped from thefreedictionary.com?

 …and assumes the risk for a business venture.

Why would you ever assume a risk knowing that when presented, you would choose not to do everything possible to ensure the outcome was positive?

Marketing is the life sustaining force that allows you to generate new customers and repeat clients on a consistent basis. When I left the Air Force in 2011, I was jaded and never knew how difficult it was for small businesses to succeed in a not so stellar economy. I blamed this lack of success on the value of the almighty dollar, taxes, labor costs and anything but the lack of effort from the business owners themselves. I still agree that starting a business in today’s market is extremely difficult, but what I refuse to believe is that it is impossible. Technology has given us so many tools to cost effectively, and with a massive amount of impressions, expose our message to the world!

However, effective marketing does take time, and like anything positive that is worth waiting for, you can’t expect instant gratification. It is extremely important to remain persistent.

Plus, marketing and advertising your business in today’s tech savvy world is insanely fun!

But that’s just my opinion.

If you truly want to survive in an overcrowded business world, you will have to yell louder than anyone else. And the really cool thing is….

I’ve got the microphone.

Andy Sokolovich

P.S. If you like what we have to say, and want to know where you can head from here, be sure to click on the button labeled LIVE Event on the top left corner of this screen. You will be redirected to an Eventbrite.com invitation to our next marketing seminar that is being held this June 24th and 25th.

WARNING! The seminar is limited to only 25 attendees.

~Andy

 

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