1. Leadership Failure.

Your business can fail if you exhibit poor management skills, which can be evident in many forms. You will struggle as a leader if you don’t have enough experience making management decisions, supervising a staff, or the vision to lead your organization. Perhaps your leadership team is not in agreement on how the business should be run. You and your leaders may be arguing with each other publicly, or contradicting each other’s instructions to the staff. When problems requiring strong leadership occur, you may be reluctant to take charge and resolve the issues while your business continues to slip toward failure.

How to Avoid Leadership Failure: Dysfunctional leadership in your business will trickle down and affect every aspect of your operation, from financial management to employee morale, and once productivity is hindered, failure looms large on the horizon. Learn, study, find a mentor, enroll in training, conduct personal research – do whatever you can to enhance your leadership skills and knowledge of the industry. Examine other business best practices and see which ones you can apply to your business.

2. Lacking Uniqueness and Value

You may have a great product or service for which there is strong demand, but your business is still failing. It may be that your approach is mediocre or you lack a strong value proposition. If there’s strong demand, you probably have a lot of competitors and are failing to stand out in the crowd.

How to Avoid Value Proposition Failure: What sets your business apart from competitors? How do you conduct business in a way that is totally unique? What are your competitors doing better than you are? Develop a customized approach or service package that no one else in your industry is using so you can present it as a strong value proposition that attracts attention and interest.

This is how you build a brand. Your brand is the image your customers recognize and associate with your business. Your brand identity, including your logo, tagline, colors, and all the visible aesthetics and business philosophies that represent your company should be supported by your value proposition. It should separate you from the pack and present your individual perspective to your customers. Do everything you can to present that unique value proposition to your market so you can capture a market share and begin building your conversion rates.

3. Not in Touch with Customer Needs

Your business will fail if you neglect to stay in touch with your customers and understand what they need and the feedback they offer. Your customers may like your product or service but, perhaps they would love it if you changed this feature or altered that procedure. What are they telling you? Have you been listening? Or is the market declining? Are they even still interested in what you’re selling? These are all important questions to ask and answer. Maybe you’re offering a product or service that is fallen well below trend.

How to Avoid Losing Touch with Customers: A successful business keeps its eye on the trending values and interests of its existing and potential customers. Survey customers and find out what their interests are and keep abreast of changes and trends using customer relationship management (CRM) tools. Effective use of CRM can help keep your business from failing.

4. Unprofitable Business Model

Akin to leadership failure is building a business on a model that is not sound, operating without a business plan, and pursuing a business for which there is no proven revenue stream. The business idea may be good but failure may come in the implementation of the idea if there are no strategic guidelines in place.

How to Build a Good Business Model: Research and review the way other businesses in the industry operate. Develop a complete business plan that includes financial forecasting based on predictable revenue, strategic marketing, and challenge management solutions to overcome potential obstacles and competitor activities. Create a milestone chart with specific tasks and objectives assigned along the timeline so you can measure success, solve problems as they occur, and stay on track. A sound business model that incorporates best practices can help your business avoid failure.

5. Poor Financial Management

You must know, down to the last dime, where the money in your business is coming from and where it’s going in order for your business to succeed. Your business can also fail if you lack a contingency funding plan, a reserve of money you can call upon in the event of a financial crisis. Sometimes people start businesses with a dream of making money but don’t have the skill or interest to manage cash flow, taxes, expenses, and other financial issues. Poor accounting practice puts a business on a path straight to failure.

How to Avoid Financial Mismanagement: Use professional business accounting software to keep records of all financial transactions, including every expenditure and all revenues received, and use this information to generate profit and loss statements. This is valuable information that you need to run your business, know where you stand at all times, and keep it operating in the black. If you lack skill in financial management, consider hiring a tax advisor and professional bookkeeper or certified public account to help manage your financial affairs.