4 Ways to Avoid Business Failure

4 Ways to Avoid Business Failure | Biz Help Hub | By Micheal W.

No business owner wants their business to fail. Unfortunately, the statistics aren’t on our side; according to Bloomberg, 8 out of 10 small businesses fail within the first 18 months. So, what can you do to avoid becoming a statistic? We asked four business experts for their top tips on avoiding business failure, and here’s what they had to say.

1. Have a plan—and stick to it

“One of the biggest mistakes I see people make is not having a plan,” says Rachel Edwards-Stewart, Founder & CEO of reCareered. “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.” Edwards-Stewart advises would-be entrepreneurs to put together a comprehensive business plan that covers everything from market research and target customers to financial projections and exit strategy. Once your business plan is in place, it’s important to stick to it; if something isn’t working, don’t be afraid to make changes, but resist the temptation to veer off course just because something else looks more appealing.

2. Don’t try to do everything yourself

“Another common mistake is thinking that you have to do everything yourself,” says Edwards-Stewart. “You don’t! Delegate tasks to employees, contractors, or even virtual assistants—just make sure that the person you’re delegating to is qualified and capable of completing the task.” Trying to do everything yourself not only increases your chances of making mistakes, but it also means that you’re not able to focus on the most important aspects of running your business.

3. Keep an eye on your finances

“Money matters are one of the leading causes of small business failures,” says William Lipovsky, Founder of Due. 

Make sure you keep a close eye on your cash flow and only spend money when absolutely necessary.” Lipovsky advises small businesses to create a budget and stick to it as closely as possible; if you find that you’re regularly overspending in one area, look for ways to cut back so that you can stay within your overall budget. Additionally, he recommends setting aside money each month so that you have a financial cushion in case of unexpected expenses.

4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help

“Running a business can be overwhelming and isolating, so it’s important to reach out for help when you need it,” says Sarah Schupp, CEO of University Parent. “There are tons of resources available for small businesses—take advantage of them!” Schupp recommends taking advantage of free resources like SCORE, Small Business Administration (SBA) counseling, and local Chamber of Commerce events, as well as paid resources like professional mentors and consultants. And if you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to ask family and friends for help; sometimes all it takes is an extra set of  hands or a fresh perspective to get things back on track.

By following these four expert tips, you can give your business the best chance at success. Remember to have a plan and stick to it; delegate tasks when appropriate; keep a close eye on your finances; and reach out for help when needed. 

Do all this, and you’ll be well on your way toward avoiding business failure.