The vast majority of all start-up businesses fizzle out within a year. At some point, you have probably known a friend or family member who attempted to start their own business venture but failed to gather momentum. Or maybe you yourself tried but found that it was far more difficult than you thought it would be.
So why are most start-up businesses so persistently unsuccessful? What do successful self-employed individuals or owners of profitable companies do that is so different from everybody else?
1. Lack of a clear goal
The number one enemy to success is the absence of a distinct goal. If you want to start a business but aren't sure what you are striving for or you don't even know what you want to sell, there is no way for your business to grow.
Before you start a business, you must know what you plan to sell, whether it is a physical product or professional services. If you start a business that turns out not to be a suitable fit for you or isn't profitable, it's not a big deal. You can simply form another plan for a different business venture. There is no limit to the numbers or variations of profitable opportunities, both offline and online.
It is also a wise idea to set monetary goals so that you have something to work toward, even if your first goal is only $100 per week to begin with or something ambitious like $5,000 per month. The more specific your goals, the more likely you are to succeed.
2. No consistent routine
No matter how excellent your business idea is, you won't get anywhere if you don't stick to it consistently for an extended period. If you try something out for only a week or keep repeatedly abandoning and revisiting your project, it will never get anywhere.
During the beginning stage, you may have to build your business consistently for up to six or seven days a week whenever you have any spare time. Once your business is well-established, you will then be able to cut down your hours to an easier, long-term pace.
3. Starting a business for the wrong reasons
While everyone who starts a business wants to pay the bills with it, money cannot be the only reason you decide to become self-employed.
All successful businesses have one thing in common: they fulfill a specific need. A barber provides the solution to peoples' hair trimming needs. A company that sells coffee makers enables customers to easily make a fresh cup of joe at home. A web designer helps people to create a visually stunning, easy-to-navigate website.
No matter the size of the company or the products or services that it offers, every successful business works to make its customer's lives easier. Your business should provide people with a solution to a problem or an answer to their needs.
If you use peoples' wants and needs as a framework to develop a solid business plan, you will never run out of ideas for services to offer or products to sell.
4. It's hard work
There is no way around the fact that starting a business is typically difficult and time-consuming, especially in its first months or even for the first few years.
Unlike a nine-to-five job, you will not have a boss to hand you your schedule or give you a list of daily tasks. When you are your own boss, you have to create your own hours and discipline yourself to work even on the days you don't feel up to it. If you don't work, no one is there to fire you. Your success or failure is entirely in your own hands.
Starting your own business is truly an intimidating experience. Most people who dream of their own company do not realize just how demanding it can be to run your own self-made organization. Because of this, many people abandon their dreams of working for themselves and return to the comfortable routine of a 40-hour per week job.
To succeed in your endeavors, you need a lot of ambition, an independent mindset, and determination that outweighs the fear of failure.
Starting a business is undoubtedly a daunting process. If you have a well-defined business plan, a powerful desire to break out of the corporate world, and a strong work ethic, you will already be much closer to success than most others who attempt to transform their dreams into reality.