Business growth has become the biggest challenge in the 21st century for a number of reasons: Many startup businesses and fold their canvass within one to five years since inception and the questions remains as to why. Statistics show that only about 20% of new businesses survive their first year of operation. This is mainly because of poor Business Planning. Bright business idea on paper may not necessarily translate into successful entrepreneurship in the end. This does not in any way suggest that you should not pursue your passion. In fact most successful businesses are those which are passion driven and what you love doing. But poor planning can ruin any noble idea. 1: Poor Business Planning: Business planning is integral to Business success. It makes you to define your Unique Value Proposition (UVP)-What diffentiates your Project from competitors. In a flood of Electronics shops, how will yours stand out? Is it the huge stock? Is it the neon lights and the festively decorated display? Is it the daily social media marketing? Is is the charm of your sales girls? Certainly all the above. Business people using pen, table or notebook are planning a marketing plan to improve the quality of their sales in the future. But every Business, so to speak, has deployed the same strategies to capture the market just like you. You have to set yourself apart from the others. 2: Failure to understand Customer Behavior Today Most customers would want to pay through Credit cards and other Money Transfer platforms to small Businesses just the same as they do with Apple and other larger Brands. Consumers have become obsessed more with digital information than ever before, and now the only form of communicating with prospects is to engage digital marketing strategies. Most businesses in Nairobi and East Africa, especially small Businesses, are staging competition against well established companies by deploying old methodologies to market themselves. These methodologies are no longer sellable since most consumers depend on them no more. Walk in customers are no more in modern market situation as majority have become homebred and would rather search products online and order in the same platform. Every Business must now wake up to the new phenomena or be left in the thirsty lands where no one knows your Business exists. Again. Online market has also opened up Online Reviews which go a long way to create confidence among online shoppers than physical shops. This why online review sites like Trust pilot have huge traffic of online visitors who are thirsty for information of different products or services. No business can survive without intense online presence. You will lose the customers you have to the more rigorous online present competitor and never penetrate the market. 3:The Silent Cash flow Killers Business with poor Inventory Management is no good. Simply put, cash flow slash will slowly eat the Business away. Business must establish sales patterns to be able to map performance patterns. Deploy POS(Point of sale) to help with inventory management and keep track of your transactions and generate up to date reports for Business Analysis. This helps keep track of your finances and stock level. Unsustainable Growth Many Businesses engage quick stock up high sales strategy which is unhealthy. Business growth should be gradual and steady, giving you the opportunity to collect analytics for Business Evaluation. Trying to take on more Business than you can handle will drain your capital and may render the Business unmanageable in the long run, being overwhelmed by the demand, and quality of service will be poor. 5: Lack of Sales: Nothing hurts a new business like lack of sales. This usually happens when you focus on one large customer and if he doesn’t order for you to make a sale, the Business is headed for the rocks. For example, if you run a hotel, and depend on student Traffic during academic year, when the season ends, then your Business will go down unless you diversify to hit your Business goals and stay afloat. The only way to hit sales targets is to gain insights from existing data and use those insights to inform your sales strategy. 6: Do it all Attitude: Many small Business owners are rigid lot, who are jack of all trades; something which is Business poison. We know we have strengths and weaknesses and obviously will need certain talents and qualifications in some specific areas which we may not handle effectively to aid business growth. Delegation is the formula for success in any Business. Holding up to save that dime you would have to part with to hire qualified service is business suicide. Delegation is your friend. Whether that means hiring your first employees or investing in software that cuts down on busywork, your business will only start making money once you offload some of your responsibilities onto other qualified shoulders. 7: Ignoring Administrative Tasks: Most small Businesses do not invest in the most basic administrative tasks which keep their businesses healthy. Probably when you wanted to start your Business, you thought of smart marketing, happy customers, and certainly plenty of cash. You thought little of spreadsheets and reconciliations and queries. Success in Business lies squarely on administrative tasks such as managing finances, employees and customers. Anyone of these go wrong and everything is wrong. 8: Adamant to Pivoting Many Business people remain adamant to their Business Ideas or products even when it’s obvious the idea is not working at all. The obsession with your line of business thought can be a disaster. Business ideas many times wear out and you have reinvent and develop new ideas and rebrand your business accordingly. Every business, whether established or starting up , must stay abreast with current market data and carry out continuous analyses of its data to conform to working strategies. 9: Lack of Data: Your small Business is competing against giants in the industry who have tones of data at their disposal. Though your market is small, you need to gather as much information as possible. If you don’t have enough insight, you will not have information about the performance of your business in real time, which will limit your smart data driven decision. 10: Poor Management: Business owners wield power over their empires. This ultimate power can become bend point if misused as many usually do. Being an Entrepreneur, generates feeling of authority which sometimes makes them become rigid, complacent and authoritative as their businesses grow. Sense of security causes complacency, in turn carelessness in handling customers and employees which in turn lowers service quality.
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