Business tips

4 reasons your small business could be failing.

By Joshua Griffin on
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Are things starting to go south a little bit with your small business? Don’t worry: There is still time to course correct. To pull yourself out of the mire however, you first need to identify the underlying cause and take action.

Is it a lack of planning?

Flying on the wings of your passions sounds great, but turning dreams into realities requires planning. Leaping into the fray without a business plan means flying by the seat of your pants and having no strategy for coping with the unexpected. Money tends to go out faster than it comes in, marketing remains haphazard, and there’s no clear path for achieving goals.

If you didn’t plan at the outset, it’s not too late. Take a look at where you are now compared to where you want to be and determine the tactics necessary to get from here to there. Perform detailed market research to get a better understanding of how to connect with your customers and overhaul your sales and marketing strategies in light of what you learn.

Are your books a mess?

Running out of cash is one of the top reasons small businesses fail, but cash-flow problems can be prevented with a smart approach to bookkeeping. The key is to track every single sale and expense, a processed simplified by having a high-quality accounting program.

Invest in software designed to integrate with your bank account and point of sale system. If employees make purchases on behalf of the business, you’ll also want an option for linking and tracking the credit cards they use.

Is your point of sale system outdated?

Embracing technology is a must if you want your business to succeed. Mobile credit card acceptance will set you apart by freeing you up to complete transactions any time, anywhere. Old point-of-sale (POS) systems lacking this feature can lead to lost sales.

With mobile credit card processing, you can ring out customers even if terminals at the front of the store are occupied. You can also equip employees to accept mobile payments at trade shows and festivals to broaden the reach of your brand.

Does your marketing fail to engage?

Ignoring your customers is a surefire way to fail and yet some small business owners still overlook feedback and plow ahead with ineffective marketing techniques. Telling customers what they want doesn’t work. You have to pay attention to what they say and answer appropriately.

A successful marketing strategy should be multi-faceted and include brand awareness, the customer experience and fantastic customer service. Customers are interacting with your business all the time through social media and online review platforms. It’s up to you to pay attention and reply. Differentiate yourself from your competitors with friendly service and by taking a responsive approach in every customer relationship.

According to a review of data from 2000 to 2010, only 48 percent of startups make it to their fifth year and only 33 percent hit the 10-year mark. Don’t become a statistic. Get a handle on what’s making your business flounder, correct your mistakes, and start thriving.