seriousaboutbizWhy do 80% of businesses fail in 5 years? What makes the difference between struggling and thriving in a business? I ask myself these questions as I stroll from one networking event to another while I meet hundreds of businesses a year.
Here is my answer as the 5 signs that you’re oh-so-not-serious-about your small business.
1. You Haven’t Made Much Money In It For Years
If you have always made around what’s considered welfare level of income (in Canada I think it’s around $20K/year) and that’s ok with you, I don’t think you’re serious about your business. It also tells me that the fact that this has been going on for years without you doing something to change it speaks even louder about your passion for your business.
2. You Prioritize Everything Else
When everything else comes first and your clients come last, they can feel it. When your family, your sick cat, your day job, your new certification program or your travels come before building your business, you are essentially a hobbyist playing at owning a part-time interest. Coming from someone who moon lighted for 7 years in my last corporate job, I can tell you that once I got serious about my business, I simply left my day job.
3. You Don’t Have A Strategy
If every year you’re trying a new marketing gimmick you dreamed up, if you’re copying your competitors to see what things they’re doing to get new clients, if you are throwing spaghetti at the wall to see which niche sticks, then you don’t truly have a strategy and that’s the biggest sign to me that you are not serious about your business.
4. You Have A Free Email Account
I can’t tell you how many times I see this. If you’re serious about your business, you usually get a website AND an email associated with that website. If you’re still operating your business on free mail, it tells me that you are not even serious enough to spend $19 per year to legitimize it with an email account.
5. You Never Hire Any Type Of Help
Doing any of the above mistakes in your small business is not a sin, it’s just something you never learned. What puts the nail in your bankruptcy coffin is if you’re not willing to pay to learn how to make it better. If you never hire help to teach you how to grow your business, if you never pay for someone less qualified than you to do the repetitive mindless stuff that drains your time and takes you away from building new business, then you unfortunately are not really all that serious about your business.
So please don’t take offense if I’ve described you in any of these steps, I was once like you but the difference  is that I got help. Will you?
Need more chicken soup for your biz? Follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook, watch me on YouTube or connect with me on LinkedIn –and let’s talk

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