Why Your Business Doesn’t Work

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Are you struggling to get your business off the ground? You’re not the only one. Over 90% of all start-ups struggle to go anywhere with their business. If you’re in that bracket your chance to make it is very slim indeed.

What does that mean?

For most, it means running out of money, being very frustrated and working for the next few years in a crappy job recovering their losses. I know it sounds terrible and you might think I am going over the top here. But let me assure you, this is still a good scenario. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. But it does mean you should know what you’re doing!

Starting a business is risky. There are so many factors that might go wrong, and there is a lot to learn every single day. It’s hard work, whatever anyone says. I assume you know your business and you’re on top of your trade, but it’s not what you do that is the hard part. It’s the things you don’t know that make it so risky. If you’ve never run a business before the learning curve in that segment alone can be extremely steep.

For example, you can be a plumber in a regular job, and your risk of failure is low. If you mess up, you might lose your job, but you won’t lose anything else.
If you run a business, in the first instance, you become a business owner, and in the second instance, you work as a plumber. If you think you can be a plumber to run a business, you will fail!

Most start-ups are very good at what they do but have no idea about running a business, and that’s why they fail.
In my experience, many start-ups keep working on improving their skills (plumber), because they believe that is the reason it doesn’t work. Of course, it’s much easier because this part they understand. It is like inventing a new product and starting a website promoting it. If after a while nobody buys, they keep refining the product in the hope this will attract customers. And so the cycle begins until they run out of resources and have to give up.

If they instead learn the skills required to run a business, understanding the market, its customers and their problems, they would realize that a business is centered on customers and not the products they create.
Being a business owner is about running a business. It’s not about being a plumber.

If you want to be successful as a start-up, you need to learn to be a business owner. You need to learn the skills required.

To be clear, as it comes up in many conversations I have with new business owners; it’s not about funnels, sales or Social Media. These are all tools that might work depending on your business. Foremost it is about people, your potential customers and your relationship with them. Once you understand that, you have an excellent chance to be in the 10% bracket of start-ups who are going to make it.

How is your business doing?

John Di Stefano

An entrepreneur at heart and founder of the Entrepreneur Academy in Brussels, Belgium. He is teaching and supporting entrepreneurs in the skills every entrepreneur needs to create a better life for themselves and the people around them.

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