Small business failure is devastating to any entrepreneur. Running a business takes up a lot of time, as well as mental and emotional energy. The last thing you want is to have it not work out. You can't guarantee that your business won't fail, but you can do certain things to sustain your business as long as possible. Here's how:
1. Invest Money in Marketing
You will almost guarantee your business failing if you don't invest time and money in marketing your business. The Internet offers many free opportunities to market your business. Don't rely on free marketing only, because it's not sustainable. You have to incorporate low cost methods as well, and as your business grows, you'll have more money to invest in marketing. Successful businesses that have avoided small business failure invest six percent or more of their gross sales in marketing.
2. Write a Marketing Plan
A marketing plan is arguably more important than a business plan, and is key to avoiding small business failure. You have no business without customers or clients who are willing and able to buy your products or services. Effective marketing brings prospective customers to you, which means you'll be able to earn money and pay your bills. Writing out a marketing plan forces you to research and think through strategies that will help your business grow. You'll also have something to refer to every day as you sit down to market.
3. Market Every Day
You should never be too busy to market. The well of steady work will run dry, and catching up may be too late. If you lived in a world without competitors, then you could stop marketing. However, there are new and veteran business owners ready to corner the market and dominate the niche you serve. The business owner who doesn't stop marketing every day, often wins.
4. Concentrate on One Niche
If you've got the entrepreneurial spirit, you may be the type of person that can do 50 different things for 50 different people. Work-at-home moms excel at multi-tasking and being the "go-to" person for everyone. That doesn't translate well into business, and it leads to small business failure. Restrict your talents and abilities to one niche for now. When you're ready to take on additional businesses, you can do many more tasks. Each business should focus solely on one niche. You can sustain your business longer that way, and your business will stand out from the crowd.
5. Get Help with Tax Planning
Planning for and filing your taxes as a small business owner working from home can be tricky. You don't have an employer withholding taxes for you, which is a good thing. You have to pay taxes yourself each quarter, unless you're exempt according to federal laws and can wait until you file your taxes. Owing taxes, and the interest and penalties associated with it, can lead to small business failure. Ask a small business accountant for help, or invest in a good tax planning software, depending on what you can afford.
Work hard on your business to avoid common mistakes that lead to small business failure. You can't guarantee success, but you should do all that you can to succeed.