Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

~Thomas Edison

Everybody who starts a new business does so with dreams of making it big in the world – they aim for success, financial or otherwise. Yet many business owners fail to realize their dreams: they flounder and fall by the wayside very soon. Why do these organizations fail? What keeps them from achieving their objectives?

There are many tangible reasons that lead to a business failing viz

  • Lack of focus – no clear-cut goals and objectives, making it difficult to set priorities and have a road-map
  • Lack of planning – no blueprint or proper business plan demarcating objectives, tasks, targets
  • Poor location and hence difficulty of access
  • Poor organizational structure, weak HR and administrative policies & procedures
  • Small customer base
  • Insufficient knowledge of the market, competition, customers
  • No performance monitoring to check that tasks and people are on track
  • Insufficient funds – if the cash flow dries up, because of bad debts or inability to get loans
  • No or insufficient insurance cover

All these factors could result in a business not doing well and ultimately folding up. But none of these are insurmountable problems. They can all be dealt with and counter-measures put in place so as to enable the business to move ahead, albeit slightly later than originally planned.

The real reason

The real reason why many businesses collapse or even fail to take off is the attitude and mindset of the owner. If the owner is focused, disciplined and determined to make a go of his venture, nothing will hold him back. Businesses need strong, intrepid people who have a positive attitude towards their work, their company and life in general. The minute the owner loses heart, the enterprise will stop growing and will gradually die.

The owner is the person driving the business; he needs to have the will and the grit to carry on even if things go south. If he gives up and quits the scene, nobody else is motivated to try any more and the result is the collapse of the business.

Giving up is not an option

Giving up is not an option when one starts anything – whether it’s a business or an academic course or a marriage. Success is possible only with constant, continuous effort and hard work, with patience, persistence and willpower. Many entrepreneurs lose patience if they don’t succeed from day 1or if they lose customers to competition or if there is a problem with employees or if they face a cash crunch.

In any venture in life, there will be problems, there will be hurdles to cross – it is a part and parcel of life. But problems can be sorted out only if one stays to fight, not if one quits and runs away. Similarly, even in business if one wants to make a success of it, the key is to keep going in the face of difficulties. To quote an old saying, “When the going gets tough, the tough gets going”.

Stay the route

Every business goes through ups and downs – but those who stay the route have a greater chance of success. They turn every obstacle into an opportunity and take advantage of it. And they reach their target and go beyond. They don’t even think of quitting when they are down. That is when they tighten their belt and re-enter the arena to fight because their very survival depends on it.

Throwing in the towel and saying “I quit, things are not going my way” is the worst decision any business owner can take.