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Where Businesses Fall Short

No vision. Successful businesses have a clear vision or picture of their business purpose and mission. Your vision serves as a roadmap to help you see where you are today in relationship to where you want to be tomorrow. Your business plan serves as the mechanism that will help you to bridge the gap. When you don't have a clear vision as to why you're in business or where you intend to take your business, it's like taking a road trip without a map.

When you don't know where you're going, you'll waste a lot of time, money, and energy trying to find the right road leading to your destination. A well-defined vision will help you stay focused and on track. 2. No niche. One of the most common reasons for business failure stems from having a poorly defined niche.

A niche can refer to a target market or to an area of specialization. When businesses fail to target a specific group of consumers, they risk being attractive to no one. Perhaps it has its underpinnings in the saying, “You can't please everyone.” The more narrowly you market your business, the better your chances of generating new business. Market yourself as an expert in a specialty, while showcasing yourself to a narrow market that you can most benefit. 3. No business plan. Your business plan is your strategy. It includes many important items like defining your business niche and target market, your marketing plan, financial projections, staffing, investments, as well as the benefits and features of your products and services. Referring back to your vision for your business, it is your business plan that provides the strategies to move you from where you are today to where you want to be in the future.

If you don't have a business plan to follow, your chances of achieving success are greatly diminished. Plans have a way of becoming reality. Craft your plan carefully and use it to guide your progress forward. 4. No marketing plan. A marketing plan outlines the steps you intend to take to sell your product or service. As one component of the overall business plan, it identifies your niche, your product or service benefits, the strategies you'll employ to reach your target market, as well as how much you intend to spend. Marketing is fundamental to your company's success. Without it, you won't have any customers or clients. For this reason, it's critical to spend the extra effort to develop one.

5. No marketing calendar. This item is a subset of the overall marketing plan. It is critical to any marketing effort in that it schedules when you intend to implement various marketing strategies. By having a calendar, you'll be more organized about how you go about marketing. Also, it provides a way to track what you've done and the results of your efforts. Marketing is not a one-time effort, but rather something that must be done consistently over time. A calendar is critical to staying on target and on track with your marketing plan. 6. No action.

Taking action is the foundation of progress. Without it you will have no clients and ultimately no business. Sometimes business owners get caught up in process so that they are unable to make decisions. Other times they suffer from being perfectionists and don't implement ideas because they don't think they are good enough. Anything that prevents you from moving forward will lead you down the path to failure. Until decisions are made, flow is stopped and that usually means your business is blocked as well. Until you put your products or services out there, you're never going to make sales. It's better to take some action, risking an outcome you might not desire, than to stop and stagnate. 7.


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