We all have our own stories. Some entrepreneurs and business owners, if you study their stories you will find out in business it’s a matter of making things work well. For example; many of these entrepreneurs started their businesses with limited knowledge. They just learned as they go through experiences. Some of these entrepreneurs said if they had known how hard it was going to be for them as entrepreneurs ahead of time, they wouldn’t have started their businesses in the first place. Therefore their lack of knowledge was their advantage because the entrepreneurship road can look very scary, and it may not be for everyone.
As a new entrepreneur myself this was interesting to me because we always want to be proactive and not reactive. We want to learn as much as we can in the areas of our interests. My question then was not whether entrepreneurship was for me, but rather what might some of the problems so many companies, firms, and organizations maybe facing as challenges in order to staying and lasting longer in their industries and sectors whether it be in communication, technology, healthcare, education, food and drink, transportation, fashion, sport and fitness, entertainment, and so on. Why some survive and thrive more than a decade, and others survive only for a short while? I have come up with four reasons; some of them I have learned through my own experiences, but others through what I have been researching.
One of the reasons would be because these firms may be in business for the wrong reasons and that’s why they are not able to sustain their businesses for a long period of time. Regardless of these reasons are, whether because they merely want to make lots of money, or looking for freedom to have more time with their families and travel the world, or maybe that they just don’t want to answer to anyone else, we can relate these wrong reasons to the term marketing myopia which basically occurs when a business mission statement is too narrow or is of short-term thinking to define its business in terms of goods and services rather than in terms of benefits customers seek and fulfilling those customers’ needs. For example, Nike Mission Statement doesn’t say we sell the best quality sport products, but instead it says “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world. If you have a body, you are an athlete” So when your business has a mission statement like Nike’s, it’s hard to quit when push comes to shove because you are really building a legacy that uplift people and basically changing the world, and people tend to respond well when they know for instance in Nike’s case that what you are serving is more than just quality sport products.
Another reason would be lack of strategic planning. They say if you fail to plan you plan to fail. Anyone will tell you in order to achieve anything of a long-term, even short-term really, without strategic planning and hard work it would be somehow impossible. Strategic planning is a process of defining a business’s plans for achieving its mission. Strategy is about setting goals and determining actions to achieve those goals and mobilizing resources to execute actions. So when business fails to strategic planning and taking action to implement them, they definitely would not last that long in business. With strategic planning businesses are able to set priorities, utilize well the resources, strengthen operations, ensure that employees and other stakeholders are working toward common goals, establish agreement around intended outcomes or results, and assess and adjust the organization’s direction in response to a changing environment.
Definitely another reason will be overexpansion. Not every business is ready for growth when opportunity represents itself. The reasons may be these businesses are not ready because of insufficient capital or perhaps poor management, or could be other reasons. Overexpansion often happens when these firms confuse success with how fast they can expand their businesses. And so when they become larger, it becomes too much for them, and they end failing in maintaining the status quo. Bankruptcies are often caused by rapidly expanding companies. In fact if not careful some companies may step down or even let go employees in all levels, lower or upper management level because of poor management or poor financial performance and misused of funds, and other misconducts, especially during their businesses highest peaks for expansion.
While an organization can have a strategic plan without a mission or vision statement, the plan is sure to be unsuccessful because it will lack direction which will reduce the organization’s potential for a competitive advantage. Without the mission or vision statements, the strategic plan has no ultimate goal to strive and lacks measurability. Your vision or mission lays out a destination; your destination guides your strategy; and strategy chooses action. It’s action that leads to success. In those moments of action, having clear direction is crucial for building business momentum.
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