Why Small Businesses Fail: 5 Common Mistakes

why small businesses fail common mistakes

Entrepreneurs are focused on the bigger picture when planning out their businesses. Within a short time, some of them achieve the limelight while others hit the rock, never to operate profitably again. These business outcomes are connected for certain reasons that set them up for failure. However, some companies may not have failed if they had taken the right measures to avoid common mistakes. 

Eliminating unnecessary errors is paramount for an SMB. It is best to learn from the mistakes of other SMEs. Many of these small businesses shut their doors forever or even declare bankruptcy. Some business owners even lose all of their own personal assets because they didn't protect themselves with an LLC, incorporation, insurance, or other measures. 

Running a small business can be one of the most difficult things you take on in your life. Being an entrepreneur, business owner, or startup founder isn't for everyone due to the risks and sacrifices required. It can be even more daunting when your small biz is failing and everything is on the line.

Many small business owners often overlook pitfalls that lead to the collapse of their enterprises. Here are 5 of the most common mistakes that prevent entrepreneurs from succeeding with their small businesses: 

1. Capital Shortage 

–°apital shortage is typically a major reason small businesses fail or collapse. It impedes growth since funds are not readily available to pay the bills and create growth opportunities. Not many new business owners understand the benefits that lie in cash flow for a business to thrive during difficult times, so they pay less attention to it. Because of this, they fold up without enjoying the chance to hit the top. Also, some company owners don’t have a realistic understanding of how to manage financial operations. 

While you must be sure of the capital you need before kick-starting your business, you must also come up with the required cost to keep the enterprise flowing. However, it is pertinent to note that some businesses may take from 12 to 24 months to keep going. As such, covering all the expenses associated with setting out a company will require you to put in a generous amount of money. 

2. Starting With Excess Debt 

When there is a capital shortage to get the business going, there are higher chances that a company owner will consider taking loans. Going into debt to fund a business isn't a bad idea, however, too much of it can also be a quick way to shorten the business lifespan. And for aspiring company owners who are not financially capable, taking loans becomes a priority to finance their future enterprise. 

If you take loans, it is also pertinent to prioritize timely loan repayment. Failure to do so makes it very difficult for the company to grow as well as to stay afloat. Cash shortage or insufficient cash flow has been one of the major reasons why many enterprises fail to keep going. 

Whether you have a sellable product or not, making profits can be more difficult with debt. A good way to consider is 401(k) business financing, or Rollovers for Business Startups (ROBS). You can kick-start your company using this option because it allows you to access your retirement funds. 

More interestingly, you will not have to incur any tax penalties. Furthermore, it’s possible to use it as a down payment when you are considering taking a small business loan. With this, you can keep your savings as well as cut down your monthly payment. 

3. Overexpansion 

The goal of every small business owner is to expand as quickly as possible. However, it can lead to failure. Bankruptcy has been responsible for the collapse of many companies as a result of trying to expand. 

Making your small enterprise bigger is good, but you must ensure that it is coming at the right time. Before considering it, make sure you have a solid customer base and a good cash flow. After this, you can watch out for certain signals to know when it is time to go further and vice versa. For instance, you may be endangering your small business when you consider expansion if you are unable to timely provide buyers' needs regularly. 

There is no need for this step if you are unable to keep up with production demands from consumers. Focus on the growth of your small enterprise first before taking serious steps. 

4. No Market Or Shortage Of A Market 

Small businesses may not only suffer but also die when there isn't a market for the services or products offered. Additionally, in a case where the market for such services or products is no longer available due to natural disasters or economic change, enterprises may cease to exist. 

Predicting disasters may not be possible for any SMB. However, find out where you can sell and check out profitability levels. SMEs should not forget that a market does not refer to "everyone". It only refers to targeted buyers' groups you can easily access. 

Close observation and regular monitoring of the market and buyers' changing needs can be a great way to avert failure as a small business owner. 

Doing thorough market research early on and business planning can help minimize these risks and ensure that your product or service has a strong market. The earlier you find out about your target market strength, company competition, and risk factors the better you will be prepared.

5. Not Leveraging The Power Of Social Media 

Undoubtedly, one of the most effective ways to reach out to prospective customers is by leveraging the power of social media. An average buyer will rely on Google to first know more about a certain business or service. Therefore, small companies may enjoy a short lifespan if owners don’t turn to the power of the Internet. According to statistics, about 80 percent of those who buy something rely on the Internet to make it happen. 

Moreover, 81 percent of people will not buy a product or service until they have conducted Internet research on such a product. To avoid failure, online buyers should easily find your business online to make it easier for them to patronize you. Optimized content and cross-selling across a wide range of communication channels are all an integral part of increasing your online visibility. As such, many businesses turn to Leadar, Facebook, YouTube, and even Instagram to power up their marketing and become more visible to prospective buyers. 

Social media has a plethora of activities that can help you showcase your company’s products to prospective buyers. Think of online press releases, digital PR, digital marketing, and lots more. All these activities help your business enjoy a strong online visibility and presence. Pay attention, for instance, that lots of companies now use QR codes which makes it easier for prospects to look up what they sell online. There is no limit to enhancing an LLC's online visibility and presence depending on the SEO activities and strategy employed. 

Help Your Small Business Survive And Thrive 

Beyond having robust startup business ideas, there is more to starting a small enterprise if you tend to grow. Companies tend to get bigger and not fail if owners can curb common mistakes. Therefore, if you are planning to start your own organization, ensure to avoid these common mistakes to bring growth and prevent failure in the long run. Have a smart business plan in place and a strategy that accounts for unavoidable obstacles. If you fail to plan with your small biz, you plan to fail.

6 Ways To Protect Your Online Documents

ways protect online documents file security

Documents are essential components of any business organization. They contain company and customer information, which is necessary for strategic decision-making. However, managing physical documents can sometimes be arduous. For that reason, companies are shifting to online document management systems. 

By storing your company’s documents online, you can maximize your storage space, enhance file retrieval, boost collaboration, and improve regulatory compliance. However, your online documents simultaneously become a target for online attackers. And if you aren’t careful, you can lose critical information or file data to hackers. Fortunately, there are some effective ways you can consider to protect your online documents. These 6 smart file security tactics include the following: 

1. Implement The Right E-Signature Technology 

You will still have to deal with physical documents until you invest in e-signature technology. With this software, you can attach a digital signature to online documents and send them to the intended recipient over the internet, eliminating the need for hard copies. 

However, not every e-signature tool is good for your online documents. Some are outdated and vulnerable to online attacks. Before installing e-signature software into your business systems, ensure it has the right security features. For instance, you may want to invest in a handwritten signature generator with multiple authentication options for signers and PKI tamper-evidence seal. 

2. Use Strong Passwords 

Another great way to protect your online files is to create passwords. You will need to create strong passwords for all your systems. This ensures that only authorized people can access your online documents. 

You can implement various strategies to establish strong passwords. Any password you create should be at least eight characters. Additionally, ensure you include lowercase and uppercase letters. You will also have to add a few numeral and nonstandard characters. Doing all this will make it hard for nonauthorized people to guess your passwords and access your online documents. 

However, dealing with several passwords can be a problem for many. For that reason, you should use consider using password manager software. The right application will efficiently manage all your passwords such that you won’t have to memorize them. It will also guide you to ensure you change your passwords regularly. Just make sure you choose a reputable password management company. You never know what software company you can trust these days, and every business or program can get hacked or leaked.

3. Adopt Two-Factor Authentication 

You should also adopt two-factor authentication (2FA) for your online documents. It provides an extra layer of protection to your data. Even if someone comes across your passwords, they can’t unlock your systems unless they identify themselves. Common two-factor authentication strategies typically include facial and fingerprint recognition which are highly secure. 

Now there are even multi-factor authentication (MFA) options for some logins. These add additional security layers including security questions and CAPTCHA tests along with text, email codes, or phone calls. While it can be a little bit repetitive to use multi-factor authentications every login, it really keeps your software and files secure.

how to secure online files

4. Encrypt Your Files 

Sending files online has risks. Sometimes, the documents can be exposed or delivered to the wrong people. That is where the power of file encryption can come in. 

Encryption technology enables you to change the language of your data from standard to nonstandard. With this system, anyone who wants to view and use your documents must have a binary code or key. There are several encryption solutions on the market. Ensure you take a moment to research them and invest in the right one for your business needs. 

5. Back Up Your Data 

Regardless of how businesses invest in cybersecurity, hackers always find new ways to steal data. This is why it is important to back up your documents. It ensures you can always recover any lost files through online attacks. 

For that reason, ensure you back up all important company information. You can achieve that by storing copies of your files in backup software, external hard drive, hardware appliances, removal media, or partnering with cloud backup services. 

6. Educate Employees On Online Data Security Best Practices 

Sometimes, you can lose your online documents because of employees’ ignorance or carelessness. So you need to train them on best data security practices. For instance, ensure you educate them on the importance of keeping passwords to themselves. Also, they should know the dangers of sharing company information or files with outsiders. 

Organize regular training sessions for your employees. You can consider training employees yourself or hiring security experts, depending on your budget and experience. Whatever you choose, employees should be equipped with the right information to help protect your documents and enhance your cybersecurity strategy

Top Takeaways Of Online Document Security Strategies 

Switching to online documentation can be a great way to enhance the growth of your company. It eliminates the need for a document storage space. This improved file security helps you to reduce costs and increase your profits. It also ensures employees can access files anytime, thus promoting company productivity. While this move exposes your data to online attackers, you can adopt the strategies above to protect your online documents.

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