I spent some time recently with the former owner of a local high street store. He explained that the reason his business flopped, was that the “economy was too weak”.
And he was wrong.
I know a number of the people whose retail outlets are on the same high street as his and although a few have flopped, they are a very small minority. Most are doing fine, others are expanding. Including those with the same target customer profile as him.
Not his fault?
He was blaming the wrong culprit. The reason that guy’s business failed, was that he did too few of the things required for success. In other words, he made it impossible for his business to succeed.
For example, he was trying to compete based on price, against online retailers who had a fraction of his overhead; so he was playing to his weaknesses, rather than his strengths. His in-store experience was also very average. He got way too few customer referrals. There was no buzz about his business.
As you’ve probably guessed, he did all his own marketing himself. He did it himself, because like most small business owners, he lacked the business sense and the confidence to get expert marketing help.
- The sense, because he thought it didn’t matter.
- The confidence, because he saw only risk and it scared him.
He told me, “Finding the right expert help isn’t easy, Jim”.
Yes it is!
Check their credentials. If they stack up, hire them. If not, don’t. If someone lacks the judgement to know good from bad, they won’t be in business very long.
Blaming the economy for the failure of his business is like a bank robber blaming the police for being in jail, rather than taking responsibility for having robbed the bank.
We need to be smarter than that. Which, let’s face it, isn’t hard.
You see the blame game everywhere
Listen to the coach of a losing team after a game and you will often hear all kinds of blame being dished out. Listen to the winning coach and you will hear them talking about how effective the planning was and how committed the team was.
The most effective people in any area of life take responsibility for their actions and inactions. The buck stops with them.
They wouldn’t have it any other way.
Because accepting responsibility gives them complete freedom. It motivates them to do the right things, correctly… knowing that the right results will surely follow. So, if you want more sales, get a better marketing plan and work that plan.
Every business owner is faced with just 2 choices, when it comes to the development of their business:
- Take responsibility. Decide what you want. Get the help you need. Then do the work.
- Or find an excuse not to.
Sure, that’s not much of a choice. In fact, if you want your business to thrive, it’s no choice at all.