5 Stumbling Blocks Small Retailers Must Overcome to Thrive

According to an infographic found on Insurance Quotes, statistics show that:

  • 20% of small businesses fail within the 1st year
  • 34% of small businesses fail within the 2nd year
  • 50% of small businesses fail within the 5th year
  • 70% of small businesses fail within the 10th year

Why? The infographic mentions 5 stumbling blocks that lead small businesses into the failure zone:

1. 19% are outcompeted:

“Regardless of your business type, financial situation or strength, if you aren’t constantly focused on your competitiveness in the marketplace, then you’re placing your business’s longevity at risk,” says Business.

It’s crucial to be open to new ideas and be flexible in the face of changing trends. As Business points out:

“By adapting your product or service to meet changing tastes and being open to new opportunities, you’ll be less likely to be blindsided by sudden paradigm shifts, or overnight crashes; and more likely to run a successful business that thrives for generations. 

2. 23% don’t have the right team

Take the time to find the right applicant. Not getting “good vibes” from the first five applicants? Keep interviewing! When you do find the right talent, train them as thoroughly as possible so they have the skills and confidence to succeed. Look for people who are a good fit for your company culture and are enthusiastic about staying with your company long-term.

Having a steady team of staff members will increase morale and productivity in your workplace. Furthermore, it will significantly improve the way your customers view your brand when they see consistency in your employees. Plus, they’ll enjoy seeing friendly, familiar faces when they come to your business.

3. 14% ignore their customers

Mastering the art of customer engagement is one of the most important things a business can do.

It’s crucial that your customers know how much they are valued. When they have problems, address them right away. If they have questions, answer them in an unhurried and thoughtful way. Customers should always feel comfortable enough to raise concerns and feel that you genuinely want to help them.

By responding to your customers in a prompt and helpful manner, you’ll make them feel valued, ensuring their satisfaction and loyalty. On the other hand, ignoring them will send them straight into the waiting embrace of your competitors.

4. 42% fail because there’s no need for their products or services

Technology and trends are constantly evolving, so you need to be able to respond to changing markets and keep your finger on the pulse of current consumer demands.

It’s crucial that you understand what types of people are most likely to want—or need—the products or services you provide.

Gathering data, whether it’s through online analytics tools, consumer surveys or customer reviews allows you to get a glimpse into the mind of your potential and/or current customers, making it easier to develop products and services that are suitable to current market demands. Additionally, it will help you determine areas in which your company needs to improve.

5. 82% have cash flow problems

Slow or diminishing cash flow profoundly affects your business, resulting in an inability to pay expenses and bills, meet payroll, or promote your business. This can result in a need to take on additional loans or make late payments on utilities or debts.

Restricted cash flow also prevents you from growing your business, because you have no means of acquiring new buildings and assets, hiring new employees, or acquiring good investors.

Your business simply can’t grow when you don’t have the resources to support it.

The Takeaway

The InsuranceQuotes infographic, Why Do Businesses Fail, also has some good news to impart:

“For the first time in decades, more small businesses are opening than closing.”

Whats more, 75% of small-business owners are confident in their company.

And there’s no reason you shouldn’t have confidence in your business as well. Use the above list of stumbling blocks as guidelines for improving your business and paving the way for your continued success!

Also published on Medium.

Sherene Funk is the author of the contemporary romance Autumn in Your Arms and two small business e-books. She is a voracious reader who owns more books than she can ever read in this lifetime. A graduate of Brigham Young University, she worked in advertising for many years before moving to her current writing position at Rain Retail Software. She researches non-stop to see what successful retailers do and loves to share what she learns with small business owners.