Why The Best Small Business Ideas Fail!

There are many statistics on the number of small businesses that never make it past the first year of trade. I have seen figures as high as 90% quoted! Why do some of the best business ideas fail miserably?

I am sure some are just great idea’s that never quite translate to the consumer. For most it is a simple case of not knowing what they are getting themselves into. Here are five of the biggest blunders that you should watch out for:

1. Limited (or no) capital

Building a profitable small business requires an input of capital and if you ask around I am sure most successful small business owners will say “estimate what you think you need, then multiple by 10!” Don’t forget that it is not just money you will need. Consider time and energy as part of your capital. If you are trying to build a business whilst working full-time or even part-time something will eventually have to give.

2. Lack of commitment and discipline
Many small business owners underestimate the time and commitment needed to achieve success. There is enormous discipline required. You no longer have the structure of a job to go to every day. There is no one to fire you if you don’t turn up for a week. Your time is your own, you must use it wisely. Long lunches and lack of commitment and discipline will crush your business.

3. Not understanding your target market
I cringe when I ask business owners who their target market is and they answer “everyone”. You must identify your target market or you will fail to develop a sales message specific enough to entice anyone!

4. Lack of planning
Plan, plan, plan! It is imperative that you have a comprehensive plan before you even think about that great new business idea. Business plans and marketing plans don’t count if they only exist in your head. Get those idea’s down on paper and use this as your road map to success. Update regularly and be specific in you goals.

5. Manic Marketing
Choose a marketing mix that suits your business. Once again if you have not identified your target market you will struggle to get your marketing mix correct. Monitor your marketing weekly and stick with it! Many businesses throw bits of cash at random marketing efforts without any monitoring. If they don’t get a lead in the first week they decide that particular marketing effort didn’t work and they move on to the next. Give your marketing efforts a fair go before declaring failure.

I could go on and on…. but I won’t. If you are committing any of the above sins then give yourself a stern talking to! Or call me and I will do it for you!

Check out this you tube clip for a great idea that failed! Given the chance I would love to “Live the dream”. Rumour has it that it was nothing to do with lack of planning, apparently the companies founder was doing something a little dodgy and ended up in a bit of trouble.

Melanie Miller
Small Fish Business Coach Gold Coast


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