107: The Five Big Reasons Small Businesses Fail – Part 5

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Hi again! This is the last in the five-part series, "The Five Big Reasons Most Small Businesses Fail And How To Avoid Them". Number Five. Topic number five is, "Living In The Past".

David, what are you talking about, living in the past? Well, in my parents lifetime and even in my lifetime I've seen so many changes happening. All the way that the technology is moving forward... spacecraft, aeroplanes. How quickly we get to communicate from one part of the world to the next. And kids of today, they just take the Information Age for granted.

Well, it hasn't always been like that. And really, the education system can't keep up with the changes that are happening there and effect your business, small business, every day of your life! Now is it really freeing up your life? How often are you using the email system? How much is it putting a drain on your life answering all these emails when it was supposed to give you freedom? Give you more than you had before, and it's really a burden.

What we need to do is not be technophobic. So, part 1 is technophobia. Really having a fear of the technology, not embracing it, and to do so is really at your peril. How can we move forward? Well, we don't always have to do the work ourselves. But what I suggest, and if you look at my website I've got somebody by the name of David Cavanagh that I've worked with.

Is it possible that I can possibly know every aspect of business to the nth degree? No it's not! I need to know what my business is. I need to know the key elements. And as I progressed along the way I realised that I needed to have certain aspects that came into my business. I needed to understand the economy. It affected my business. As I started moving forward, progressing, I realised that people needed to know about what I did. I had to be able to communicate that message.

I also had to create products. And what you're going to create to get the message out there. Communication. And if you become the face your company you've got to be able to communicate. And if you understand it, why do I say, "have an understanding", and I'm not saying to do it all? Because people are going to come and give you quotes and you don't know if it's really technologically sound. You don't know if it's financially sound what they're offering. You just don't know! If you don't know you will simply, and I've seen it, you'll just write out the cheque. And you'll just keep writing out the cheque because you've been hijacked.

Technology has hijacked your business and just keep bleeding you financially dry because you didn't take the time to understand the technology, so that you understood it, didn't have to do it, and be able to get somebody else to do the work for you but you understand the requirements of you're needing be of explain to somebody. It is so important. It's not you. Somebody in your small business organisation needs to take that role. Technophobia that was part one.

Part two is communications. I did a survey recently amongst property investors. And I say property investors are small business owners, and the same with any small business. Guess what was number one? I thought it would be financial problems and found it was really marketing problems. Marketing, meaning communications. That was the number one thing that they really had problems with! Because they were busy thinking about deals, deals, deals, and in this market you've got to do things differently. And, I bet, for somebody running their own small business trying to get that business, being different from the next guy, is the number one problem. And I bet it's the same with you.

Communications is the name of the game. If you can differentiate yourself from the next guy and look different and make an irresistible offer. And one of the things I say, you've got a be a face! You've got a be a face behind your business, and in fact, not behind it, in front of your business!

You are the brand. You are the person they're going to come to. In fact, imagine somebody's going to pick up the phone. They want a plumber. They want an electrician. They want somebody to sell the house to. And... what's going on in their mind? Who is it that's going to be on the end of the phone that's coming into my house? The trust factor that around money, remember...they don't trust.

They want to see the proof, the guarantees. And so, if you can brand yourself and you become the logical choice because they've seen you, met you, because you've given them a means through the technology to see you, and sample what you can do... they were more likely to want to do business with you. It's the customers, the third-party endorsements that I keep talking about. Branding you as the business.

Okay... show them the proof. You've got to be able to talk the talk, walk the walk, and show them that you are different. Now I had a customer, plumber recently. Plumbers, when you go to 90% of the websites... guess what you're confronted with? A tap or a showerhead! Do you want to do business with a tap or a showerhead? And below there was an 0800 number... quite often. And we were going to do this. We were going to... Mr S, Mrs J from all these places unknown, giving a testimonial.

You've got a get real testimonials. You've got to get the proof. You break the communication, point of difference. Give the guarantee and that will make all the difference. Separate you from all the rest. That's why I work with people like David Cavanagh because he showed me how to do this, how to delegate. That's what I needed in my business. like you!

And the last thing! Point number three before we finish up. Meet the masses! The Internet is there. You've got technology like the websites. You've got mobile marketing so people can find you. They can see what you're doing. You get out of the wider world, not just in your own backyard, but further afield. And therefore, you've got access. Just don't think locally like we may have done before. Then you can be accessing so many people.

Why is it not possible that you can introduce what you're doing to another business partner? Show them how to benefit. Do a joint-venture relationship. How you can reciprocate between each other. Use the technology! I've got a fellow by the name of Steven Essa on my page. Go and have a look at what he does. I've trained with him. I use webinars a lot because it gives me my face, my voice out there in the market, I'm able to communicate nearly as good as one on one.

When you can communicate as effectively and it is real and it's a natural environment people will do business with you. Point of difference. Most local business don't do it.

So, look at the technology. How to embrace it. How to use it. Because it can be to your advantage. Because most people are living in the past. They're waiting for the economy to come back like the old days. It's not coming back like the old days.

Please, before I finish up, look at all the people, all the specialists, that I've been working with and does it make sense how I've got to have the understanding? Put the whole package together, and therefore with all that knowledge that I've acquired over the years, that you need to go through yourself, that I can just replace the business in a box at the very top because I've got the skillset. I've got the outsourcing. I've got the contacts. And that's what you want.

You know what? I'm going to you a bonus day. I'm going give you another, one more. The things on how we're going to move forward. What you've got to do. I've told you about the things that you've got to watch out for. The things to avoid. Let's move forward! Let's start putting in a plan of action for you to move forward in your business. I'm coming back tomorrow!

This is David Lee. This is the fifth in the five-part series, but I've got a bonus day for you tomorrow. Just for you. Please, be on that one. I'll help you move forward with your business. Thank you.