Saturday, November 06, 2010

Reasons for Business Failure - Part 1: Planning

So, why do businesses fail? Why are a third of businesses gone in the first two years, and why do half not survive the first five years? What goes wrong between the initial enthusiasm and the final desperation? How can we stop that happening to us? How is this relevant to network marketing in general, and Kleeneze in particular?

Let's take the main reasons first:

Poor Planning

I don't know about you, but if I hear "Failure to Plan is Planning to Fail" one more time, I'll hit something. Anybody attending a network marketing training session will be told that, as though it's a failsafe mantra. Anybody who works at a relatively experienced level in any business or industrial sector will have heard a version of it.

Yes, some people fail to plan, but most people who are serious about building a business do plan. They are told to provide business plans to banks, or to plan their workload, so they sit down, try to work out what they want to happen over a given time frame and write it all down.

The trouble starts with what happens next.

Some create plans that look good on paper but which are wildly optimistic and are based on everything in life, including the global economy, being absolutely perfect. 

Failure to plan for adverse situations is planning to fail.

Some assume that, once the plan has been created, that's it. By some mystical universal force, everybody and everything will telepathically understand what's required and align with the plan, without further input from the creator. 

Failing to work according to your plan is planning to fail.

Some write the plan, allow for real life to intervene and work the plan but they don't amend the plan to allow them to grow their business. They are stuck in a mindset that tells them that as long as they do the minimum level required, they'll be fine.

Failure to review your plan and reset targets upwards is planning to fail.

I've planned to fail in the past based on those three criteria and it's painful. It's also OK. Planning to fail is a learning exercise that all new entrepreneurs will go through in one form or another and it should not be used as either an excuse for failure or a reason for others not to try the same path.

So you're overoptimistic at times? You haven't accepted how much work is involved in building your own business? You think you're heading for the stars when really you're coasting in neutral? 

Get over it, get a new plan written and commit to it. Work it; review it at weekly, 4 weekly and 13 weekly (90 days, remember) intervals; change it and improve it as necessary. Then get back to working the plan. Repeat until it's a part of you.

Because where your future's concerned, it's not an attitude, it's a way of life.

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