Whenever people start a small business, they always have the best intentions. Usually it starts out good, too. Everyone is eager and excited to launch a new brand, and it shows as you go out into the community and talk to potential clients. Response is positive, and hopes are high that this business is here for the long run. But thats not always the case.
More often then not you’ll find the business closed after a couple years. In fact, according to Inc.com, 96% of businesses fail within 10 years. That sobering statistic is sure to put fear into the heart of any small business. So why do most business fail? Most people would tell you they don’t keep close tabs on their financial health. While this is true, I believe that it is a symptom of a larger, deeper problem.
The Root of Failure and Key to Success
Let’s see if this sounds familiar. You’ve recently started a business and are enjoying moderately strong growth. There are a number of competitors in your market, so in your rush to secure a client you quickly write down what you are providing to a potential client and send it in before the competition can. Your client is impressed how quickly and professionally you responded. After a handshake you quickly start on their project. 3 months down the road however you are struggling with managing your clients expectations, and eventually you are either forced to give up your client at a loss or take on extra work to complete their expectations.
How did this scenario turn from a happy business-client relationship into a nightmare? Simply put, the business didn’t take the time to outline exactly what they were providing to the customer in a specified time frame. Being clear and concise in all your communications and contracts is vital! There are always things that will come up that aren’t expected, and if you don’t have a concisely written plan on paper that everyone agrees to, you are playing roulette with your businesses success.
Past the business-client relationship, forcing yourself to communicate clearly within your business cuts down on confusion, accidental tasks and lost money. For some people this is a natural part of their personality. For others who tend to react and move quickly, it’s a challenge to take a step back, ease up on the gas pedal and take a moment to clearly communicate with your business, team, and client. Regardless of your position or personality, clearly communicating makes the difference between a successful startup and a has been business.
Buck the trend. Be part of the 4% of business that last, and take time to make sure that you are communicating clearly and concisely within all your business relationships.