Four things make up 79% of all business failures:
#1 – Building something nobody wants (36%)
#2 – Hiring poorly (18%)
#3 – Lack of focus (13%)
#4 – Failing to market & sell (12%)
How to best avoid these failures:
#1 – Always start with the customer, not the product. Get your beta group / user group of customers and work with them to deliver what they love. People will pay you to do what they love, not to just do what you love.
#2 – Outsource to experts who manage themselves, not workers who need to be managed. Hire people who let you do more of what you do best, not people who take you away from your talents because they need to be managed.
#3 – Once opportunities begin to grow, don’t get defocused. Anything that doesn’t add to your customer’s experience isn’t worth doing.
#4 – Don’t fail by having a great product that no one knows about. Don’t rely on someone else to sell your product until you have more sales than you can handle. Don’t make sales by closing customers. Create buyers by opening relationships.
#5 – More than all of the above, maximise failures that steer you (testing and measuring) and avoid failures that sink you (when you run out of money and time). Fail passionately and fail often, earning and learning with each failure, so it’s you that keeps failing (and learning) and not your company!
“The biggest risk is not taking any risk.. In a world that is changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.”
~ Mark Zuckerberg
“Never, never, never give up.”
~ Winston Churchill