Reasons Small Business Fail, and How to Avoid Them

According to research done by the US Small Business Administration, only about half of all new business survive their first five years; only a third make it a full decade. According to Forbes (based on research from Bloomberg), 8 out of every 10 businesses dies within their first 18 months!

So what are the differences between businesses that succeed, and those that wither on the vine? More to the point, what’s coming to kill your small business, and how can you avoid it?

Insufficient Demand

Problem: It’s easy to fall in love with your awesome, unique contribution. So easy, in fact, that it can cloud your vision, obfuscating whether or not your target market is even there.

The solution? Research. Make sure that your potential customers will actually buy what your selling. More often than not, it’s simply a matter of small tweaks in order to create a unique value proposition.

Failing the Value Proposition

On that note, what makes your product unique? How is it valuable? If you offer something that’s in demand, but the numbers still aren’t there, there’s something that’s killing your profits – and it’ll kill your business if left unchecked.

To address this, ask yourself: what sets me apart from the competition? What unique thing do I offer that my competitors don’t?

Developing a custom approach, a unique service proposition; this is how you’re going to stand out from the pack. Every part of your brand identity – from your mission statement to your logo – needs to be in sync with your core value proposition. This is the thing that makes you different from generic competitor X, so make sure that you’re communicating it to your market.

Staying Quiet

Simply put, if you’re better than your competitors, but your customers don’t know that, then it’s not going to matter. This isn’t just a matter of advertising – though it shouldn’t be neglected – but a full-on communication issue. Networking, word of mouth, social media – there are a lot of ways to get he word out. Make sure that your online presence is optimized and focused; if someone comes to your website, you have an incredible opportunity to communicate your value proposition, so make sure you’re actually doing so.

Find some solid lead generation techniques, and stick to them; after all, how will your customers ever join you team, if they don’t even know you’re in the game?

Fiscal Mismanagement

Large businesses can dedicate entire departments to making sure that everything’s accounted for; in a small business, it’s often up to you. You know, the person making all the other important decisions? Accounting and budgeting aren’t always the most exciting, and it’s tempting to wing it.

Don’t. Wing. It.

To avoid this pratfall, invest in some professional accounting software, and make sure you use it. Every penny, every expenditure, every profit and loss; it all needs to be accounted for. If you don’t have the skill or the time, then consider hiring a CPA; but don’t neglect it, whatever you do.

Bottom Line

If half of all new businesses fail, then half of them are going to succeed. By maximizing your business’ unique value proposition, you can go a long way to ensuring which half you’re in.

About the Author

Morris Edwards is a content writer at, he writes different topics like How to tweak your small business for success and How to Get Started With Online Business: 5 Great Ideas and all topics related to Singapore Business and if you want to Register a company in Singapore visit our website.


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