7 Lessons to learn from failed businesses

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The signs are everywhere: For Lease. For Rent. For Sale. Going out of Business. Seems like every day another business dies.
So sad because many of them might have been able to withstand the recession if they’d only done things differently. That said, here are some drills you can take away from businesses that have fallen:

  1. Business, as usual, isn’t a strategy. Tweaking your business model to survive when the market changes are. Don’t assume you can operate your business as you always have when the economy is in trouble.
  2. Hoping doesn’t bring in customers. Action does. If you wait and watch while the economy falters (or crumbles), you may find you’ve waited too long.
  3. If you don’t do any marketing, your chances of survival are slim. Marketing is what you do to let people know about your products or services. If you don’t tell them what you offer, how will they know?
  4. Working without a marketing plan is poor planning. How do you know what to adjust if you’re not working from a plan? Even a simple guerrilla marketing plan can help you make the right decisions when the market is bad.
  5. Just because your competitor lowers prices doesn’t mean you should. Run your OWN business. You don’t know really why your competitor is lowering prices. Maybe she got a great price for an odd lot and can lower prices and still get a good profit margin. Didn’t your mom ever say: “Just because your friend jumps off a bridge, should you?”
  6. If you can’t afford costly marketing, go for affordable options. Think the only way to market is to buy pricey print ads or costly commercials? Think again. Many successful companies have been built using guerrilla marketing tools. And that was even before social media and social networking. Today, there is a herd of options to market your business and still stay within budget.
  7. Don’t underestimate customer loyalty. Sometimes loyal clients are the difference between survival and not. And you can bet that if you’re not taking good care of your customers, someone else will.

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