Why Businesses Fail
Dear Success Seeker,
Last week I attended a seminar where one of the speakers was a renowned business coach who specializes in working with rapid-growth entrepreneurial companies. His name is Kevin Nations and I'm told charges US$50,000 for his one-year group coaching program. He says that most coaches make their success principles far too complicated. Kevin prefers to keep things simple. In his model 98% of business failures can be attributed to one of three reasons. The reasons are:
1) No plan
2) A lousy plan
3) Poor execution of the plan
After working with thousands of small business owners over 20 years I completely agree with Kevin's assessment. It seems that every author, speaker and trainer has their own model for success. Many of their concepts are so complicated that they lead to confusion rather than empowerment. Not only that, but these three reasons for failure can actually be applied to any initiative or project whether it is business-related or not.
Let's take a deeper look at each of the three reasons.
Problem #1 - Lack of a Plan
Did you notice that Kevin did not mention lack of a compelling vision or clear goals as a cause of business failure? This is because most ambitious people have both a vision and relatively clear goals. The real challenge is how to get from your vision, which is in your imagination, to the tangible, real world results you have in mind.
As an example, imagine having a vision to build a grand mansion and a goal to have a four-car garage. This is a wonderful starting place however there are many, many steps you will need to take before your vision becomes reality. As the saying goes, the devil is in the details! In order to make it all happen the way you want, you need to have a plan.
I am not talking about a traditional 'business plan' which gets written and then never used again. I'm talking about a practical, down to earth plan that outlines your strategy and the steps involved. Your plan does not have to be complex. In fact the simpler it is the better. However it must have enough detail that you can follow it, step-by-step, to your goal.
Problem #2 - A Lousy Plan
Once you have a plan the next question is this: If you follow the strategy and steps in the plan, will you actually achieve your goal? You would be surprised how frequently this is an issue. Over and over again people come to me for coaching and their plans are, to be polite, inadequate. To use a non-business example, people tell me their goal is to lose 30lb in three months and their plan is to eat less. No details about counting calories or following a proven program; no mention of exercise and completely ignoring the need for structure, monitoring and support. This is a plan but it is a lousy one and is almost certain to fail. A good plan includes both a proven strategy that will work and specific action steps that, when executed, will take you where you want to go. One of the best ways to know if you have a good plan is to show it to another person and ask them, "Will this work?"
Problem #3 - Poor Execution
You probably realize that that the biggest problem with most plans is follow-through; the execution of the plan. This is true, however keep in mind that a good plan is one that is easy to implement. In other words, failure to implement is frequently a symptom of a lousy plan. When you actually have a complete, comprehensive and practical plan that will work given your resources, abilities and capacity, the implementation is more likely to occur!
Of course the biggest obstacle to implementation is you. Your procrastination, lack of motivation, self-doubt, failure to prioritize your time effectively, avoidance of challenging activities and the many other creative ways you find to block your own success.
Set yourself up for success
Take a moment now to assess a current project or initiative that is important to you. Use a scale of 1 – 10 to rate yourself in each of the three problem areas. Which of them is the most likely to cause you to fail in your current venture? What do you need to do next to ensure you are successful with this venture? Identify what needs to be done and take action on it!
Andrew Barber-Starkey, Master Certified Coach
Founder and President, ProCoach Success System
Would you like to receive private Business Coaching from Andrew?
Email Pam@ProCoachSystem.com or call 604-983-8041 for details
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Andrew Barber-Starkey is a Master Certified Coach residing in Vancouver, Canada. His coaching program, the ProCoach Success System, is designed for entrepreneurs, small-business owners, self-employed and commissioned sales people who want to double their income while simultaneously doubling their time off within 3 years.
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