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The business and entrepreneurship series: most common reasons why entrepreneurs fail



The entrepreneur is the enterprise and the enterprise is the entrepreneur. According to Bloomberg, eight in 10 entrepreneurs who start businesses fail within the first 18 months. A whopping 80 per cent crash and burn. Most Nigerian Businesses fail after two or three years of start-ups.

Reason #1: a lack of understanding of the six PS principles:

1) Know the Purpose of your Business
Knowing what solution you are, is key
Knowing what problem you solve is key
Knowing who has a problem you’re a solution to is key
Knowing how to solve their problem in a way that is customer friendly and easy is key Your business purpose should be captured as a solution, product or service; these are key to your business success and sustainability. It’s the reason why the business will out live you. When the Market sees your business beyond you just trying to make money then the market will emotionally connect with and buy into your business.

2) Create the Right Product
Many entrepreneurs just have an idea but haven’t converted these ideas into products. Products are deliberately designed, branded, packaged and presented solutions and services. Products are known to meet needs and solve problems. Real products speak for themselves without too much explanation or attempts to sell. The best products have quality, variety and features that speak to several aspects of the market.


3) Set up your business in the most appropriate and accessible Place for your customers is key
Setting up shop in the wrong location is a major disadvantage for many businesses and many never recover from this mistake.
For example;
Does your business rely on foot traffic?
Does your business require vehicle traffic?
Does your business and products require visibility?

You’ve got to ask where the best place for your kind of business is. Proximity and easy access to your market, customers and suppliers are keys to business success. Most importantly your customers MUST be able to reach you easily with least efforts.

4) Lack of Proper Pricing
A lot of people only look within for profit margins without (without research or market driven data). To set your Price you must consider what the market is willing to pay for your product, service or solutions.

You must also determine your Price based on your Target Market
• Are you a Luxury Brand?
• Do you provide high-end solutions and products?
• Are your kind of products, services and solutions everywhere?
• Can people get what you sell anywhere and everywhere?

Demand and Supply – Market Forces Influence Pricing. You have to be deliberate, flexible, intentional, strategic and tactical about Pricing. Pricing should take COSTS into consideration. If your costs are higher that what the market are willing to pay for then you’re not yet in business

5) Lack of Proper Promotion;
What kind of promotion does your business need?
What is the right format, language and platform for Promoting your business? What is the most effective and economical Promotional strategy for your business? What exactly are you Promoting? your name; your product; your services; yourself; your expertise; your people; your culture???

Ask yourself these questions?
1) When is the best time to Promote?
2) Where is the best platform for you to Promote your business?

Many superstar entrepreneurs lose focus by promoting themselves rather than their businesses. If you’re not the chief solution and product why promote yourself ahead of the real product and solution your business provides?
Do you give discounts? When is the right time for you to give discounts and to whom? How much discounts? Is it seen as a desperate act?

6) Lack of Proper POSITIONING is also key for your Business.
Matching the market problem; the owner of the problem with the solution that you provide is the objective of any business Promotion and Positioning Strategy.
Ensure that the Needs are spoken to
Ensure that the person that needs your solution hears you
Ensure that they understands your value
Ensure they know you’re the solution to their problems
Ensure they know exactly what to do to find your products, where, and at what price.
Ensure that they are always gingered to take action and gravitate towards you when they need to or can afford to.

Properly POSITIONING your Products and Deliberately Targeting Specific Customers (Determining your Product Target Demography is key)
• Upper, middle, lower income earners
• Men
• Women
• Children
• Teenagers
• Retirees
• Nigerians
• Africans
• Christians
• Muslims
• Ibos
• Yoruba’s
• University students
• Ages 18 – 25 years

Reason #2: lack of a clear vision/objective
Answer these questions
• What is your business Vision?
• What is your business Mission?
• What is your business Philosophy?
• What is your business DNA?
• Without a Vision the people perish
• What you behold you become
• That which you see you behold
• So what do you see for your future?
• So what are your business goals – short / medium / long term
• What do you want to have achieved in five – 10 – 20 -30 – 50 years
• What is your current reality
• What kind of environmental influence can stop you from achieving your Vision
• What must you do to overcome this barrier?
• What is the path towards the actualization of your business Vision?
• What is the first step?
• What is the next step?
• How badly do you want to succeed?

Reason #3: being in business with the wrong partner (s)
Business is just like a marriage.
You get into bed with the wrong person; you will have yourself to blame forever
You can only succeed in business with the right partners.
The wrong partnerships will get you into many troubles.
Choose rightly and not loosely
The fact that you’re great and best friends does not mean that you will be great business partners
The fact that they are family does not mean that they will be great Business partners
A partner is different from an employee
A partner is a co owner of assets, liabilities, successes and failures

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