There are generally two ways that you fail at business and both of those reasons rely upon you, your thoughts, and most importantly, your actions. Winston Churchill said it best about business:
Some people regard private enterprise as a predatory tiger to be shot. Others look on it as a cow they can milk. Not enough people see it as a healthy horse, pulling a sturdy wagon.
So let’s take a quick look at the two areas that create a business or create a failure. But the main focus is having a health horse that pulls the wagon of your family’s life.
As I wrote in my book, How to Start a Business: Mac Version I outline in more in the correct sequences the two factors below that affect your ability to make a living.
Craft of your business. The craft of your business is what you love or have chosen to do with your life, whether it something you actively sought out or just fell into. Regardless of whatever way you came about doing it, you are in business for yourself. That means you work for someone else or work for yourself, but in all cases, you’ve sold yourself to someone you will bring value to them with what you do.
- Business Idea – This is your basic framework of what you love to do, it is your talents, those things that make you stand out, that you’re heads and shoulders above others.
- Industry – The industry that you’re working in, this could be law, medicine, computers, writing, plumbing, nature guide, or other trade.
- Location – Where you are able to find work, either where you live or online with others that need your services.
Business of your craft. Your business of your craft is all of the pieces that
- Marketing – How to attract your ideal customers or clients.
- Sales – How to bond with your customers so they purchase your products.
- Operations – How you take the cash with your products and services and delivery them as you sold them to your customers and ensure that your costs and expenses are low enough make a profit.
- Taxes – Paying taxes
- Profit – Yes, you make money after you pay everyone else, including Uncle Sam.
Here are the two areas that you need to focus on to ensure that you not only are profitable, but you’re able to stay in business.
Failure #1: Your Craft. When you fail at your craft it means you can’t do the job you’re being paid for. If you’re a cashier at a local retail establishment it means you can’t or won’t follow the processes needed to do a good job. If you’re a graphic artist, it means you are not producing the right solutions for your customers. If you’re a lawyer, it means you fail to handle your customer’s legal issues. A doctor that does not provide the right solutions to their patient means the patient won’t heal. But it boils down to the very first issue surrounding making a living that is an absolute requirement for every individual:
Failing to learn and improve your craft in providing right solutions means you won’t get or keep customers
If you can’t get customers because of your inexperience or you don’t or won’t learn from your mistakes, then you can’t make any money enough to earn a living. Learning your craft is the first step at earning a living. If you can’t do this, you’ll be poor. But when you are able to accomplish this, it’s the next step that if you fail to learn and improve that will lead to your failure.
Failure #2: Your Business. Finding your various talents is the first step in earning a living and being in business for yourself. Once you’ve learned enough to start you’ll never stop learning to be better at what you do. However, as seen in the above content, failing in this step means:
Failing to learn and improve your business means you won’t stay in business
If you fail in any of the five sequenced steps above, you’ll fail at business. If you are not getting any customers through your idea and marketing (bad idea, bad marketing), then are not able to make sales, deliver the product, pay taxes. After all of those steps, if you fail to take a piece of your profit or you’re not able to make a profit, then you fail completely at your business.
Just like having a two horse plow (craft of your business and business of your craft), if one horse is smaller or unequal to the other, you’ll struggle with plowing a straight row for your crops.