Top reasons why most businesses fail

I have had the pleasure of starting a towing company from scratch and watched it grow through different stages to maturity. Running a business is not for the faint-hearted. Ask any successful business owner and you will learn they have had the ability to mitigate company risks while at the same time bringing products and services that appeal to customers and meet demands.

While many businesses from different industries perform well, a large percentage, 80 percent- of these businesses fail within the first five years. Running any successful business calls for a combination of different factors including passion, planning, and funding. There are many reasons why many businesses do not grow to sustainability and ultimately fail, and here are top of the reasons.


  1. Ineffective leadership

There is a large percentage of entrepreneurs who believe they hold the future of their companies in their hands. It is not enough for a founder to think they have all it takes to lead their companies to success. Effective leaders are not just born. They grow to exceptional levels through learning and experience. For a business to succeed, it needs to have a well-crafted management team that can steer it to greater levels. There needs to be well-organized teams who can deliver the company’s mission and vision.


  1. Lack of long-lasting value

Successful companies achieve greater levels of success through the exceptional delivery of their goods. A company fails to succeed once it begins to under-deliver. Your goods and services must add value to customers and at all times outsmart competitors. You must ensure customers are happy doing business with you. You will be able to make a profit by creating value for your customers.


  1. Failure to understand the target market

Good planning and extensive market research are vital for the growth and profitability of any business. If you are setting up a quick food business or a cloth line that is not well thought and has no real impact on what already exists in the market, you are doing it wrong. To be a smart business owner, you should be able to project the demands of your customers and deliver them in a way that exceeds their expectations. It is not always about giving customers something unique but also knowing the fundamentals of your target market.


  1. Reliance on a single customer

On paper, all businesses start small. You will normally start by having a single customer whom you deliver your goods or services to. You should never be fooled to think what works for one customer should work for all customers.  However, if you have ticked the right boxes, your business starts to grow exponentially. Many businesses make the mistake of finding comfort in offering their products and services to one loyal customer. If you have one customer, you don’t have a business. It means that customer is your employer and they can terminate working with you anytime. Diversity is key and its only through diversity that you will be assured of growth.

Why Productive People Are Happier People

Happiness and productivity are interrelated. If life is getting a major toll on you, you may need to get productive. For many reasons, productivity leads to increased happiness and overall higher quality of life. I was always finding myself very happy while working in at pressure washing in Fredericksburg, particularly because I had a lot on my desk to handle, and this pushed my productivity to maximum output. On the contrary, many people think being busy leads to increased stress. However, in reality, being very productive may be the answer you are looking for.

There are a couple of reasons why productivity will boost your mood. The more you can accomplish, the better you will feel about yourself. Here are a couple of ways being productive will make you a happier person.


Having a to-do list

There are many reasons why being more productive will boost your mood and output. At any given time, the more you can accomplish, the better you will feel about yourself. There is a true joy and real freedom in ticking off tasks from your to-do list. You get a feeling that you have accomplished something in your life, regardless of the magnitude of the task achieved. The key to this feeling is finishing what you are set to do.


Productivity and Goals

Not a single productive and happy person has no goals. Writing short term and long term goals and working towards them can give you a high level of self-esteem. It gives you a reason to wake up every day and work. When you have a purpose, you have a reason to jump out of your bed every morning and make it happen. When you have a goal to work towards, you will feel more energized and ready to tackle what’s ahead of you.


Productive people have no clutter

Clutter can make your life miserable. From cleaning, planning, sorting, and working around a lot of stuff in your office and home, you may feel demotivated and overwhelmed. Productive people have mastered a way of getting clutter off their way and that alone makes them have a tidy working space, boosting their morale and productivity. From research, we get to learn a couple of things about clutter. It overwhelms your nervous system. It refocuses your attention on things that don’t matter and can be frustrating. The key to getting productive and happy is organizing your space and tidying up.


Productive and happy people exercise

You can be very productive by exercising. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins, which are ‘feel-good’ hormones. Exercise gives you more energy and you can use that energy to accomplish tasks before your desk. Take just 30 minutes every day to exercise and see how that act will strengthen your body and clear your head, leading to a boost in your immune system. Exercising also goes hand in hand with your nutrition. What you eat and the time of the day you eat it also determines how happy and energized you can be. Eliminate sugar and processed foods and cut down on carbohydrates and see how your health will increase.

Sales Mistakes to Avoid at All Costs

In my life, I have met and interacted with many prospects, customers, and clients in line with the provision of towing services in Alexandria and other related roadside services. If there is one discipline that can make or break a business is sales. At the heart of any business is closing deals and making sales. Not all sales are the same. There are good sales, there are bad sales – the difference between the two depends on key character traits and strategies used by the people driving the sales.


If you are looking forward to closing more sales and improving your sales skills, here are a few hacks on how to go about it.


Failing to qualify

Most salespeople go straight to selling to any person they meet by their side and don’t qualify first. Before you can sell anything, you need first to establish if they are the right people – this is what we call qualifying your potential customer. If you fail to qualify a customer, a large percentage of your time will be wasted trying to close a deal that won’t go through. Every opportunity is not equal and through qualifying, you will better understand your customer needs and this you can decide what a best fits a customer.

Saying YES too early

When a potential customer makes a request, you are initially inclined to saying yes. Once you commit to saying yes blindly, you might find yourself in unfamiliar territory based on requests from customers. Each of those requests may cost you more money and can be very demanding. If whatever a customer wants from you is profitable and makes financial sense, and you are in a position to deliver, then go ahead and say yes. If the request is unreasonable, you have to say NO. If you can set this precedent early, you will be assured to have happy customers.

Offering too much information

The more information and choices you offer to people, the more likely they are going to get confused When you confuse people, they will not be your customers. You need to learn to get your message out there straight to the point and simple. Make it as precise as possible in a way that is easy to understand. Avoid trying to look too smart and using sophisticated language. Doing so will confuse your potential customers and they will shy from purchasing from you. When pitching to your customers, ensure you tell them only what they need to know.


Many salespersons make a mistake of overselling their products or services. It is a mistake similar to offering too much information. If you try to oversell, you will sound too pushy and this will turn off a lot of people. Think sales as dating, the moment you sound desperate, no one will be attracted to you. Be calm, composed, and casual with your sales techniques, and act as if your life doesn’t only rely on making the sale. At the end of the day, depending on your product, either good or bad, the person you are selling to will make a decision.


How to Live Your Life Without Regret

In life, regrets are like a ghost- they keep on haunting us. Regrets arrive when we feel low and down and may stick around for some time. It causes a form of misery that makes us sit and reflect on the things we should have done differently. In life, we have all done something that when given a second chance, you would opt to do things differently.

The most important thing to note is that regrets only stay if we let them do so. To let off regrets off your life, the first step is to understand what we are regretting about and why. If you are looking forward to living a life free from regrets, there are a couple of strategies and actionable tips you can apply today. Let’s have a look at those tips to help you live a life without regrets.


Let yourself off the hooks of regret

One of the greatest mistakes we do in life is failing to forgive ourselves for the mistakes we did. We carry these mistakes around and they keep on haunting us whenever we want to move on. You need to understand that the person who did those mistakes is your past and not the same person as you are today. At present, you are a completely different person in terms of experiences, habits, characters, and actions, and your present self should not be pinned down to your past self. The person who committed those mistakes you regret about is not you, but the younger version of yourself, so you need to let go and move on


Everyone makes mistakes

We can never be saints – we are humans and humans are known at making mistakes. It is what defines us. Making mistakes is a normal part of life and some mistakes are better made early, as they act as vital lessons and pillars of our growth. They help us become different and a better version of ourselves. The next time you are feeling burdened by regrets, remind and forgive yourself and move on.


Find the root of the problem

It would be very difficult to tackle an enemy you don’t know. To approach a situation that causes headache to you, the first step is to identify what exactly pains you. Not until then, you won’t be able to stage a fight. Find the root of what makes you feel regrets and work on getting a solution to tackle the problem.

Accept you are a work in progress

Every day, we are always trying to figure out who we are and what we want to achieve in life. One of the greatest gifts you can give to yourself is accepting you are a human being and perfection is hard to achieve. You need to forgive yourself for things you didn’t know, that made you make those regrettable decisions. You need to accept that certain decisions are made out of the urge of what you wanted at that particular time. Other decisions are also made as a result of the information you have at a certain time. Holding onto regrets will make you live in the past.

Tips to develop the perfect mindset for success

Success and happiness are all about mindset. What you think, and whatever you practice, you become. A mindset is a frame of mind. It is the sum of your beliefs, thoughts, and opinions that you form about the world and yourself. Mindset can be expressed as a lens through which you filter reality. Our education, upbringing, religion, and experiences shape our beliefs and thoughts and determine our mindset. This is the reason we say mindset is a fixed state of mind.

Mindset can change, but this change happens slowly and gradually. It is easier to change our attitude as compared to mindset. So, to develop a mindset for success, you first need to start by changing your attitude. Your attitude changes through what you feed your brain. Your mindset is a fixed mental disposition that determines your responses and interpretations of situations. Here are simple ways to develop the perfect mindset for success.


Define what success means

The first step to building a mindset for success is by defining what success means to you. Success means different things to different people. Any step towards being successful starts by setting goals. When you set goals for yourself, it becomes easy to come up with a plan of action towards achieving your ambitions. Goals will give you a standard against which you measure your progress and modify your strategy accordingly.


  1. Follow your intuition

The second step in building a success-oriented mindset is staying in touch with your intuition. By intuition, we mean the ability to understand something instinctively, without the need for conscious reasoning. Many people assume that success is about making calculated decisions. However, there are those situations you will need to listen to your intuition. Though it is not the best source of information and decision making, our intuition can in many times sort out problems quickly.


  1. Be positive

It is important to always keep a positive attitude. You should never underestimate the power of positive thinking and keeping a positive attitude towards achieving your goals. No matter the path you decide to follow, it can be very easy to get discouraged along the way. With positive thinking, you will be able to identify setbacks and use them as learning opportunities. You will be able to overcome small failures and continue working hard towards your goals.


  1. Take Action

The next and most important step is transferring your thoughts into actions. Goals and positive thinking alone will not get you to your intended destination – its time you take action. Whenever you are setting your goals, you should be able to identify obstacles and clear actions needed to achieve the goal. The quicker you can transfer your ideas and actions into practical action, the easier you will find success knocking by your side. Understand that you will make a lot of mistakes along the way. If you make a mistake, take responsibility, learn from it, and move on. Never let setbacks distract your mind to a point of losing focus on your main goal.

How to come up with multiple streams of income

If you are thinking of diversifying your income, you might be wondering what is the best way to go about it. It is always advisable to create small streams of steady income from different sources rather than having one main source. If one source starts to perform poorly, you have other sources to cover your needs. Multiple streams of income also help to keep yourself busy, engaged, and productive, and that way, you can have complete control over your purpose.


Let’s have a look at some of the best ways you can diversify for multiple streams of income.


  1. Earned Income

Earned income is the money you get by doing something or by spending your time on something. It can be the money you make on your job or the salary you get by working for someone else. With this type of income, your quality of life will suffer the most, depending on how much you are paid. If you are paid too little, you will be dedicating your entire time to work, to get this pay. Most people are no able to think beyond earned income and spend the whole of their time working for their employer.


  1. Profit Income

Profit income is money you get by selling something for a profit, in relation to how much you acquired it at. You might be having a business that sells goods for a profit, be it in retail or wholesale. You might be a distributor or manufacturer. Any income you get from this type of business is profit income. With profit income, you may need a huge capital to start related businesses.


  1. Interest Income

Interest income is the type of money you get as a result of lending money to someone. You may get this money by putting your money in the bank, buying treasury bills, etc. It can be a great source of passive income where your active involvement is not required, as you make money while sleeping. When combined with the power of compounding, interest income can be great.


  1. Dividend income


This type of income may be classified as even better than interest income. It is a passive income that additionally makes you a shareholder in the company you invest in. It is the money you get as a result of the shares of a company you own. You are paid dividends from what companies announce at the end of the year.

  1. Rental Income

Rental income is the money you get paid as a result of renting out an asset you own. It can be a house, space, building, or equipment. The amount of investment required to create an asset that can give you rental income is huge. This type of income normally comes after you have set other types of income.


  1. Capital gains

Capital gains is the type of money you get as a result of an increase in the value of your assets. If you buy shares at $10 and sell at $12, $2 is the capital gains. You may buy an asset at a certain amount and sell at a profit, mostly because of appreciation. The profit you attract is capital gains.

How to manage risks professionally

Risk and uncertainty are unavoidable circumstances in our life. Risk management is important in all levels of life, be it in personal or business decisions. In business, risk management is important to protect assets, finances, and operations of a firm. For any project you are carrying out, it is important to mitigate and manage risks. When teams have a well-constituted risk management process in place, they can identify and deal with risks from all quotas of their project.

Below is a step by step process that needs to be followed to identify, manage, and professionally mitigate risks.


  1. Identify the risk

The first step to risk management is through identifying the risk. You can manage something which you have not identified in the first place. There are many ways to identify risk, and one of these ways is to collect data in a risk register. Get a team, colleagues, or stakeholders who brainstorm to gather important information to identify all major avenues for risk. Think of the many things that can go wrong and write them down.


  1. Analyze the Risk

Once you have got all potential risks listed in your risk register, next is to ask yourself what you are doing with them. Determine how likely each of those risks is to happen and ensure you record the information in a register as well. When assessing risks, you will be able to proactively address many impacts including avoiding potential litigation, complying with regulations, addressing regulatory issues among others.


  1. Prioritize the risk

Not all risks have the same impact. Evaluate the risks you have and determine the most urgent ones that need to be addressed first. Evaluate the resources you have and assemble anything possible to resolving the risk when it occurs. categorize risks as high, medium, and low depending on your specifics.

  1. Assign an owner to the risk

After you have done all the hard work of identifying and evaluating risk, the next important step is to assign someone to oversee the risk. Who is that person responsible for that risk should it occur? It might be assigned to an individual or a team depending on its complexity. Ensure you assign the task to the right people, who have both competence and experience to mitigate it in the smoothest way possible.


  1. Respond to the risk

This is the point where the rubber hits the road. After doing all the planning, the risk finally happens, and you have to respond to it. First, evaluate if the risk is positive or negative. Is it something that could be exploited for the betterment of your project?

For each risk, you identified, create a plan on how to mitigate it. Develop a strategy, be it preventive or contingent. Act on the risk according to how you prioritized it.

Once you have responded to the risk, that should not be the end. Continue monitoring the risk. Whoever has ownership of the risk will have the responsibility for tracking its progress towards ensuring a full resolution.

How to overcome the fear of rejection

Rejection may be a necessary step in your pursuit of success. The fear of rejection is a peculiar fear that makes you get convinced people will not accept or approve you, due to your opinion, personality, looks, beliefs, values, or behavior. It is a very debilitating fear that ultimately influences your daily choice, actions, and decisions. While under the fear of rejection, you will do or not do things that may sound abnormal under normal circumstances.

This fear may likely have a negative impact on your career, relationship, and life. Living with the fear of rejection may be detrimental to the quality of your life. It may make you feel you are incapable and less of a person. It may make you develop a lot of negativity and self-doubts. You will find yourself holding back a lot of things because you fear others may disagree or disapprove of you.

But there is always a way to get out of this trap. Here are a couple of ways you may use to overcome the fear of rejection.


Acknowledge and prepare for rejection

Most of us get angry when turned down, despite putting a lot of effort on something. It is okay to feel angry and frustrated and overcoming rejection starts by dropping down all expectations. You need to understand that not all life experiences will turn out the way you wanted. Remind yourself that rejection is a normal part of life and it happens to everyone.


Look for learning opportunities

Rejection may provide you with opportunities for self-discovery and growth. You may apply for a job and during the interview process, you get turned down. During your reflection process, you notice there are some key skills you are missing. In this case, you may use the rejection as an opportunity to learn new skills and improve on what you already know. You come to realize the rejection opened doors for you to improve your skills and land a higher position than you were previously looking for.

Face your fears

If you won’t put yourself out there in the first place, you won’t experience rejection. However, you probably won’t achieve your goals either. Going for what you want, irrespective of rejection or not will give you a chance to realize success. When you face your fears, you have nothing to lose. When you get rejected, use the moment as a learning opportunity so that next time, you can put your best foot forward.


Lean on your support network

Rejection will make you understand yourself better. It will make you know how to spend time with people who genuinely care about you and who give you a shoulder to lean on. A good support network will encourage you when trying to achieve your goals. They will offer you comfort when you are struggling to succeed. They will give you genuine constructive criticism and stand with you no matter the adversities you face in your life. Such a network will make you discover your potential and will help you realize the importance of what matters in life.