PDA

View Full Version : Why do we fail at business?


Steve
08-06-2010, 05:27 AM
From your personal experiences and the experiences you have seen with others, what is your view on why so many of us fail at business?

What makes it seem next to impossible for the average person to start a business?

picframer
08-06-2010, 05:46 AM
From your personal experiences and the experiences you have seen with others, what is your view on why so many of us fail at business?

What makes it seem next to impossible for the average person to start a business?

There are a lot of reasons, maybe foremost is not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur.

- Business Plan does not reflect proper research
- Start up financing was not sufficient
- Marketing skills
- Research of the business, I see this a lot not only here but in this market in general, looking for other service options to keep cash flow going and knowing what your competition is, what they charge etc.
- Receivables
- Equipment issues
- Staff, there is an old saying you will only be as good as the people under you
- Growing too fast, service level drops
- Debt
- Lack of proper insurance, things do go wrong
- Poor sales skills
- Knowing your costs and what to charge

Those are a few things that come to mind.

Chachi
08-06-2010, 08:27 AM
pic pretty much summed it up. One thing I get praised on is I have no overhead. Everything is paid off except insurance & ads of course. If I don't have cash I don't buy it. Years down the road I am sure that may change, but for now I live by that.

LawnMoore
08-06-2010, 01:22 PM
There are a lot of reasons, maybe foremost is not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur.

- Some people lack the drive and people skills required to run there business day to day..

Not to mention, that when your an entreprenuer/business owner you have to either know who or when to hire someone to take on tasks, or know how to complete them yourself.

Like advertising, www/door to door marketing, equipment maintenace, having failure days in the start up or any time, and being prepared to conquer all of that plus more and still hold your head up to give the next man a fair deal and smile about it.

just some thoughts..

Sometimes its inevitable, you know, acts of god can stop anything from happening. ( or put a serious damper on such )

LawnMoore
08-06-2010, 01:28 PM
From your personal experiences and the experiences you have seen with others, what is your view on why so many of us fail at business?

What makes it seem next to impossible for the average person to start a business?

Steve, are you having a bad day? (this could go for others as well)

-If so maybe you need to take a little vacation ;) something easy and cheap, maybe a camping trip or hiking, or from the shore fishing trip..

-Maybe you should check into cutting back on business and personal expenses and overhead, untill income picks up.

-If nothing else, business has you feeling down, take a breather! (enjoy some me time) then you can be a little less stressed out and tackle your next day with pride and ambition.

Steve
08-06-2010, 10:14 PM
The thing I was thinking about goes back to almost the beginning of the idea to start a business.

How many people even have an interest in anything that they can even use as a foothold to get a start?

I think about how I hear all the time, 'if I could only start my own business.'

I then follow up with 'what would you like to do?'

And they reply 'I don't know.'

How is it that so many of us just dont know? I bet if you look around you, you will see others that say similar things.

How do you get something started when you have no direction? No interests? And why is it that so many of us seem to have no interest in anything or direction?

Is it simply sucked out of us when all we know is working fulltime as an employee?

Do we lose the dreams as we make the transition from child to adult?

What's your view on this?

LawnMoore
08-06-2010, 10:35 PM
Well i actually think, when they say i dont know, its because they really dont know how to do it.

Its not really something a kid growing up under parents who work 40 would know..

Now if you grew up like i did, in atleast 1 family business, maybe you would catch on, and almost 100% sure that your parents would teach you about business!

So maybe its the ones who say that, that werent raised by business orientated folks/family and had no helping direction..

I think we are a breed apart from the rest, as with anything it requires teaching, or money and sometimes both. I was fortunate enough to have that lifestyle growing up, and i would say that might be were i get my drive from. The drive to push the business even under failing conditions, because i know and was taught: "Tough times dont last, but tough people do!"

So now that im grown i know the only way to have the work when i want to and for how much lifestyle only comes from running a business or investing quite a bit of money into sometimes unstable economys.

But like the risk of losing the money in an unstable economy theres a high margin of return on the risk if the cards are played right. Tbh the unstable and broken economys are where the higher profit margins are if you (have the cash reserve) can afford to have the investment tied up untill the economy improves.

ok im kinda getting off subject so ill stop at that.

I think it takes direction..

E/ and also takes a how do i say, it takes lessons learned, like budgeting money, being content, being frugal, and a lot of other trial and error lessons (that you have to learn from) and not keep making the mistakes over and overr again! like lowballing bids, that cannot be done in order to stay in business, i would rather bid a 1-2 our tree job for 400 and not get it than i would bid it for 200 and it turn into a 3 hour job and a cut rope!!

Because like i said, if a rope gets cut or a saw drops from the lanyard sometimes those are inevitable things and have to be taken into consideration for, just like mowing, if i bid a mow at 25 to get the job even though i know its an overgrown heap worth 60! and somehow just somehow we miss a wire in the walkthrough, that could cost 40-100 or more!

So i think also bidding has a lot to do with whether a company will make it or not. If i bid at 400 and dont get a job, its better than bidding 200 and paying help 30 + gas 20 + a new rope is 150-200, right there im in the hole and made nothing!

LawnMoore
08-06-2010, 10:51 PM
Oh and again, running a business is like having 3-5 part time jobs! Marketing,sales,inventory,management,labor,etc.. sometimes it feels like more than 5 different jobs lol.. plus public relation skills, some ppl cannot gather the confidence to do door to door. i dont know there are a lot of reasons why ppl fail lol..

Thats a lot for the average Joe to handle without proper training.

So like andy said, some are just "NOT CUT OUT FOR THE JOB" but after a couple trials and errors, they will get better.

MountainViewGreenskeeper
08-07-2010, 02:31 PM
Oh and again, running a business is like having 3-5 part time jobs! Marketing,sales,inventory,management,labor,etc.. sometimes it feels like more than 5 different jobs lol..

thats the truth....

Anyways i dont really have an answer to the original question but its a thought that crosses my mind once a week or so. i am experiencing sucess in my eyes but i worry what could go wrong. i dont remember the statistic but its what 50% of businesses fail in the first 5 years. I dont want to be part of that group that fails so I am constantly looking at my action to prepare for concequences. Maybe i just over think things some times but this is my life. If this fail I fail. obviously im young enough to recover from this but i have ambitions as to where I want to take my business.

As steve was saying maybe it those childhood dreams that push me forward with this stuff. and I havent lost those dreams from adulthood yet. dont get me wrong there is a certain amount of realism in those dreams now.

Idk I feel like Im rambling now.....

Steve
08-08-2010, 04:22 AM
What kind of advice would you have to offer the average person, working a fulltime job who dreams of running a business?

How should they even get to the point where they can find at least something they could do as a business, even part time?

Where should they look for ideas? What if they have no interests other than not wanting to work a full time job any further? What do they do? How do they find an interest to see if they even like it?

As you look around, do you feel most people who work full time jobs, have interests or do most of them not? Full time jobs seem to be designed to suck the life out of you and when you feel your life being sucked away, you tend to not do anything besides that but eat and sleep, in order to be ready to do it all again the next day.

StartALawnCareBusiness
08-08-2010, 01:25 PM
Many good answers already.

Another thing that causes businesses to fail is approaching business from a standpoint of desperation. Being desperate for customers means you are more likely to lowball your prices. Lowballed prices mean you make less profit (or no profit). No profit means you don't have money to expand, fix equipment, advertise properly, and weather down times.

Keith

picframer
08-08-2010, 04:49 PM
I had a chuckle reading Keith's post, why is it when we do not need business that it doesn't stop coming in to the point where we have no idea what to do, then when we need a few jobs to take up the slack we can't seem to find it. I have found this in many business's, there was a few points this summer this Yard Care business was driving me around the bend with inquiries, I like August as things settle down and can be managed but man June and July were brutal again this year.

Steve
08-09-2010, 12:17 AM
I am reading Ride Of A Lifetime now. by Paul Teutul.

In the book he talks about how after he watched the movie Easy Rider, the idea of a motorcycle being your ticket to freedom really hit a chord in him.

Up to that point, he was in his early twenties at the time, he had never ridden a motorcycle before or worked on an engine.

He found an interest in bikes. Part time, he was able to develop that interest into a passion while he built and rebuilt many motorcycles in his shop. This went on for years (15+) before he got to thinking he could attempt to make this into a business.

So maybe, if the average person is wanting to start a business, they should be looking for an interest first. Experiment with it. See if you have a passion for it. Then, maybe you could turn it into a business.

Maybe it is possible that the lack of passion for a business you are starting can lead to it's early demise!

http://www.motorcycle-usa.com/photogallerys/Paul-Sr-Ride-of-a-Lifetime.jpg

MountainViewGreenskeeper
08-09-2010, 12:20 AM
I had a chuckle reading Keith's post, why is it when we do not need business that it doesn't stop coming in to the point where we have no idea what to do, then when we need a few jobs to take up the slack we can't seem to find it. I have found this in many business's, there was a few points this summer this Yard Care business was driving me around the bend with inquiries, I like August as things settle down and can be managed but man June and July were brutal again this year.

Is that the norm for you? I dont have previous numbers to go off of but I may have doubled in size because of July(have a few pending responses).

I wonder if I should expect a slow down then this month....

picframer
08-09-2010, 02:11 AM
Is that the norm for you? I dont have previous numbers to go off of but I may have doubled in size because of July(have a few pending responses).

I wonder if I should expect a slow down then this month....

This is only my second year but last year in August it really slowed down due to heat and people on vacation, In June and July the company is barely managable due to work on the go and inquiries and the pressure really mounts, August the inquiries slow to one or two a day from 12 to 16, it's quite a drop.

We have lots of jobs in August that are somewhat catch up jobs, it seems in September it brakes loose again until the snow flies. There are some jobs we simply can't do in August due to the heat.

Steve
08-14-2010, 07:39 AM
Do you ever wonder if one of the advantages for having an interest or passion about your business, gives you an edge in the down times?

When you really enjoy it, does it help you push through when things are slow, where others that may be less passionate about their business and give up?

picframer
08-14-2010, 03:08 PM
Do you ever wonder if one of the advantages for having an interest or passion about your business, gives you an edge in the down times?

When you really enjoy it, does it help you push through when things are slow, where others that may be less passionate about their business and give up?

If we do not have passion for our business, I don't know how we can grow. If we Love what we do it will show very clearly to prospects.

Steve
08-16-2010, 08:57 AM
If we Love what we do it will show very clearly to prospects.

Early on can especially be difficult for new lawn care business owner. When you are broke and looking to your business to turn a quick profit, if it's not, then you get disillusioned. When you are disillusioned and wondering why you are even doing this, I think it most certainly comes across to your customers.

When your customers see that you are stressed out they may not want to hire you. They will probably rather hire the guy who seems to love his business and enjoy what he is doing.

I know this is tough to say but, it seems when we get away from the love of it, the passion of the business and we focus solely on the bottom line, we associate our feelings with money. That seems to be dangerous. It takes away the passion for the business and directs it at the money.

This probably explains why it is a better plan to save some money up before you get your lawn care business started, so you can focus on the love of your business and not immediately on the money. You can experiment and grow and realize overtime, if you love it, the money will follow.

The toughest part can be that early bump in the road when you are waiting for the income to pickup more.

picframer
08-16-2010, 05:26 PM
Very good insight Steve and I could not agree more, I think when a person is hungry/desperate people can sense it and they wonder why. I think to some extent we like to do business with companies that "appear" to be doing well, because we think, well if they can afford to drive that, or have that equipment, they must do good work.

ringahding1
08-17-2010, 12:31 AM
Quote Steve: "They will probably rather hire the guy who seems to love his business and enjoy what he is doing" .... This is what you need to do, and show in order to succeed.... It's sometimes hard for my guys'(crew) to see how much I love this biz, cuz it looks as though I have so much...House, 5 vehicles, shop, mad lawn care equipment...HOT WIFE...LOL, and they are just scratching by...but I tell them I dont care about $$$....it is true I dont... I didnt start my own LCO for the $$$, and some of you may be witness to some of the flyers I have contributed...I'm telling you RIGHT NOW, I hit the pavement everday(SUNDAYS TOO)...."Work hard, take break" was stolen from a gentleman I used to work for(died in a MC accident) and that's exactly what I do...Hey mama didnt raise no FOOL, we all need $$, but if that's all this was....I wouldn't be on here trying to pass along what has worked for my LCO to people i've never met....Live honestly, be grateful, and WORK HARD....:p

jasonw
10-22-2010, 03:25 PM
From your personal experiences and the experiences you have seen with others, what is your view on why so many of us fail at business?

What makes it seem next to impossible for the average person to start a business?

I am sure most everyone has seen my ranting as of late. My problem has been mismanagement and growing faster than the business could sustain itself causing an ultimate implosion of the business. We are scarping out of it but it has not been easy. I still dont know how we went from up top to hitting the ground and getting back up in this economy. As if its not hard enough to get work now we got it, destroyed it and saved it. AIG should hire me.

picframer
10-23-2010, 06:42 AM
I am sure most everyone has seen my ranting as of late. My problem has been mismanagement and growing faster than the business could sustain itself causing an ultimate implosion of the business. We are scarping out of it but it has not been easy. I still dont know how we went from up top to hitting the ground and getting back up in this economy. As if its not hard enough to get work now we got it, destroyed it and saved it. AIG should hire me.

Steve asked a tough question and there is no simple answer, if there was we would all be a success.

Its a learning experience, when you get a contract that you did well, were paid for, received referrals, build on that and look at what you did and run with it.

Paineless Creations
10-23-2010, 11:48 AM
Quote Steve: "They will probably rather hire the guy who seems to love his business and enjoy what he is doing" .... This is what you need to do, and show in order to succeed.... It's sometimes hard for my guys'(crew) to see how much I love this biz, cuz it looks as though I have so much...House, 5 vehicles, shop, mad lawn care equipment...HOT WIFE...LOL, and they are just scratching by...but I tell them I dont care about $$$....it is true I dont... I didnt start my own LCO for the $$$, and some of you may be witness to some of the flyers I have contributed...I'm telling you RIGHT NOW, I hit the pavement everday(SUNDAYS TOO)...."Work hard, take break" was stolen from a gentleman I used to work for(died in a MC accident) and that's exactly what I do...Hey mama didnt raise no FOOL, we all need $$, but if that's all this was....I wouldn't be on here trying to pass along what has worked for my LCO to people i've never met....Live honestly, be grateful, and WORK HARD....:p


That is a good write up.

I have just started this year- I do have a full time job and right now I do lawn care on the side. This year I took all my money and just bought equipment and made no money (I can't afford to buy commercial equipment yet-yes I know wrong move before you guys yell at me, but I can not justify the cost yet) I actually did very well off "word of mouth" this year. I have only good stories to tell you guys of this first year. But I always try my hardest to do a great job selling myself (always smile and treat people very respectfully) and upbeat (happy). Show up with clean truck and equipment and on time, try not to look dirty when I show up. I have simple logo shirts and keep a spare in the truck (I have learned) and then my good quality service on the lawn with great communication. This has worked for me. I am grateful for every customer and every lawn no matter what.

Steve
10-23-2010, 09:56 PM
This year I took all my money and just bought equipment and made no money

What is your view on this? Was this a good thing or a bad thing? Did you plan this out or did you realize this at the end of the year?


My problem has been mismanagement and growing faster than the business could sustain itself causing an ultimate implosion of the business.

What's crazy is, we always want more more more. Bigger, Stronger, Faster.

We don't just want a Pepsi, we want a MONSTER energy drink. We want to supersize everything.

We want the fastest car or motorcycle and once we get on it, we want to hammer the pedal to the floor.

The problem with all that goes back to the old saying 'power is nothing without control.'

What that can mean in business is, we want everything big and new. As many crews as we can get. As big of properties as we can get. Yet we focus on the big and don't focus on the control.

Control is the last thing we ever worry about. Whether it is understanding our cash flow. Understanding how to manage our business. Understanding how to manage our employees.

I think the reason why we never seem to worry about control, is because control is not something big and physical in front of us. It is more of a concept. You don't necessarily see it in other businesses when they drive by or when you drive by them. You simply see, mowers, trucks, employees, and buildings.

You don't see the infrastructure laid in place over years of trial and error. You don't see how the office is run. You don't see if the owner is enjoying running his business or pulling his hair out daily.

If we realized more that we needed to learn more control, we would focus on it more and affirm that it is something we need to pay more attention to.

Their are entrepreneurs out there that make it all look so easy. That is because they have systems in place to make operations smoother. You can do it too. You just have to acknowledge control is something that needs to be part of your focus. As you look into it more and research it more, you will find ways to organize and streamline your business structure.

Realize control is an issue before it becomes uncontrollable.

Paineless Creations
10-25-2010, 11:30 AM
Hi Steve,
Thanks for asking the answer is complety yes....I was thinking in my first season would officialy be the 2011 mowing season.
What I did this year was R & d like this forum I got a business license, got general liability and bought equipment as a made money. This year I just wanted to see if I like doing this kind of work. So to answer your question this year was completely planed and went way better than expected with my training wheels on...

Steve
10-25-2010, 02:49 PM
Would you have done anything differently up to this point if you could start over again, knowing what you know now?

Paineless Creations
10-25-2010, 07:27 PM
Would you have done anything differently up to this point if you could start over again, knowing what you know now?

No not really. But ask me that same question 1 year from now.. LOL