6. Failure to reinvent yourself & prepare for the future
In business, you innovate or die. The business space has become tense and saturated. Failure to reinvent implies acceptance to diminish. Cease applying analog solutions to digital challenges. Learn from the mistakes of Kodak and Yahoo. Daily put your best foot forward and engage in critical thinking. Create the future you want by ‘out-thinking’ and outsmarting your competitors.
7. Poor customer care
Unfortunately, this is the bane of a large percentage of businesses in Nigeria especially the service industry. Never take your customers for granted else they will sooner or later seek better alternatives elsewhere. Have you noticed that it is much easier keeping an existing customer than gaining a new one and that a satisfied customer will refer more people to your business? Endeavor to regularly interface and engage with your customers. If they have complaints, speedily attend to it. Once they know you care, they will always reciprocate by patronizing and promoting your business.
8. Effects of External Shocks
A valid example is the recent corona virus pandemic which triggered the longest lockdown in world history. For the better part of this year, most countries all over the world were on lockdown and this badly battered businesses worldwide with many of them sacking staff and closing down while others opted for interventions such as government bailouts to stay afloat. It didn’t just stop there, quite a number of countries including Nigeria have gone into recession as a result of the debilitating effects of the pandemic.
9. Failure to share risk with others
Have you noticed that most renowned tech startups and businesses such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Gmail and Apple are products of co-founders? A group of guys collaborated to launch a great idea they conceived. Rather than singularly bearing the appellation of MD/CEO as we do here, these entrepreneurs understand the dangers of running all alone and the attendant benefits of sharing risks with others and this is why they can conveniently boast of companies that are over a hundred years in business. In Nigeria and Africa, many prefer one-man business i.e. being the Chairman/MD and CEO all at once. Designations do not guarantee success in business. Go beyond wanting to have controlling shares in your company. Invite others as partners to help grow your business. Your business should outlive you and not vice versa.
10. Wrong location
Some areas are designated business districts because it’s the ideal ecosystem for businesses to thrive. Citing your business in a wrong location amounts to low patronage. About a year ago, I noticed a pet shop that opened for business in an extremely serene part of my neighborhood. I wondered aloud why the owner made such a decision considering the serenity of the area which was strictly residential and in a gated estate. I kept watching the outlet until the tenth month when my greatest fear was confirmed after some time. At the entrance was a conspicuous banner which screamed ‘’WE ARE RELOCATING.70% DISCOUNT.’’ To succeed in business, your location must be of utmost importance. You must be in a place where your target customers and prospects are and can readily see and access your services.
In a nutshell, there are a whole lot of reasons why businesses fail, but it is expedient that prior to and after launching your business, daily take stock and look at areas you can improve upon. Remember that what gets measured, gets done.
Wishing you the very best as you navigate the murky waters ahead.