Posted on May 29 2015
Like I’ve said before I’ve had many failures and set backs but that is all part of the journey. Having a successful business is not so much about being in the right place, or knowing the right people or even having good business genes, that all helps obviously but I didn’t. I learnt the hard way and keep learning to this day.
There are common mistakes that continually bring businesses down so here’s what to avoid if you possibly can!
Having not enough money
Money and cash flow will always be your biggest concern. The day I stop worrying about cash flow is the day I dance down the street naked. I don’t think a week goes by when it’s not on the top of my mind. First up you can’t not spend money. You can’t have the attitude that you are going to nickel and dime your business by DIYing your website, only buying from companies in your country to save on transport, never travelling to far flung places to find new stuff, you’ll never set yourself apart. You need money but you also need to spend cash wisely. Before starting make sure you have enough to make a real difference, to hire the best people, buy the best products etc.
Don’t be naïve
Just because you like the idea of starting a business doesn’t mean people are going to start flocking to you. You’ve got to differentiate otherwise you will be scraping a living and doing everything yourself. And what may I ask is the point of that, its soul destroying. Take time and figure out what makes you different from everybody else. Why would people come to you, what exactly sets you apart?
Don’t not have goals
Not stupid goals like I need to generate a million in six months. Attainable goals, then determine the steps to get there. To give an example I have quite a few; shooting the new brochure for A/W, expanding up the website, coupled with a bad one -figuring out how come up with a massive amount of money to put the next round of own label into production. That one keeps me awake at night, but we’ve expanded the collection hugely. Right now it doesn’t feel attainable, but I’ve been here many times before I will figure it. I just have to work harder and generate more cash simple as that – right!
Having margins that are too small
If you know anything about retail you will know your critical path to success is not to undercut everyone, or have margins that are so low you are hardly earning any profit. Margins are everything! As Donald Trump once said ‘turn over is for fools’! Never a truer word spoken.
Thinking you can do it all yourself
This I struggle with. Thinking you can do everything is a recipe for burnout and will impede your success, it happened to me. The minute I stepped out of the store is the minute this business started going places.
On top of all that poor execution and an ineffective marketing campaign all lead to failure. This is a scary stat that I am about to give you but a whopping 80 per cent of businesses crash and burn within 5 years. If I had to pinpoint the biggest thing that causes businesses to fail about from cash flow of course it is each and every time NO REAL DIFFERENTIATION IN THE MARKET PLACE!
It’s the slow killer of so many businesses and so many businesses just don’t get it.
Said but true fact!