Tammy, a skilled and gifted horticulturist, called me to discuss what she needed to know to start her own florist and landscaping business. She had been in the horticulture industry for 10 years and was incredibly skilled at working with flowers and plants - one of the best. She also had great design skills, as well as good customer service skills. But she had little business management experience and less self-employment experience.

Discovering why small businesses fail was a smart research project for her, as it helped her uncover her own weaknesses and begin to build up some strengths before she invested in becoming self-employed. It's no secret that a large majority of small businesses fail in the first five years. The question is: Why do they fail and what can I do to prevent problems in my own business?

As we talked, we reviewed some of the common reasons why small businesses fail. Here are 14 top reasons, which might help you to determine why your business isn't growing and thriving. Some of them are related to learnable business skills; others relate to personal attitudes, habits, or self-sabotaging belief, which are not so easy to change, except through coaching or other self-development work.

1. Mistaking a business for a hobby: Just because you love something doesn't mean you should convert it into a business. Too often businesses fail because the owner feels their passion is shared by others. Research your business idea and make sure it's viable.

2. Poor planning: Yes, you must have a business plan. It can be a simple three-page plan or a huge 40-page plan. The point is that you've looked at all the aspects of your business and are prepared to handle problems when they arise. Your business plan helps you to focus on your goals and your vision, as well as setting out plans to accomplishing them. And don't get mellow - revisit and revise your business plan annually.

3. Entrepreneurial excitement: Entrepreneurs often get excited about new ideas, but are unable to determine if they're "true opportunities" and/or put them into practice. Test every new idea against your business plan and mission statement before deciding whether to undertake it or not, and ask yourself, Do I have the time and skill to implement this?

4. Putting all your eggs in one basket: Too often, small business owners will have just one product, one service or one big client. They cling tight to this one thing because it brings in good revenue. But what if the one thing disappears? Variety and diversification will cushion you against the ebb and flow of business tides.

5. Poor record keeping and financial controls: Yes, you have to keep financial and business records, you have to review your revenue and expense report each month, and you have to file taxes and other business-related filings. If you don't know how to do these, or don't want to, get help from someone who does.

6. Lack of experience in running a business or in the industry you're entering: There are so many hats you have to wear, from marketing and selling in order to run a business effectively. On top of that, you have to understand your industry, the skills required to offer your products and services, and the trends in the industry. If you don't know about these basic skills, educate yourself. Talk to others who are successfully running their own businesses, talk to industry leaders, get a book, find a website, get a coach, do your homework. And keep increasing your business and industry skills by attending classes or reading new books every year.

7. Poor money management: You need to be able to live for one to two years without income when getting started; often businesses are very slow to get off the ground. Also, you have to create and use a realistic business budget, and not constantly drain the business income on personal spending.

8. Wrong location: If your business runs out of commercial space, you need to make sure that you are convenient to your customers, and near to your suppliers and your employees.

9. Competition: Customers will go where they can find the best products and services. It's important for you to know who your competition is, what they have to offer, and what makes your own products or services better.

10. Procrastination and poor time management: Putting off tasks that you don't enjoy will sink your business faster than anything else. You can't afford to waste time on unimportant tasks while critical tasks pile up. All tasks need to be done; if you don't like to do them (or don't want to spend your time doing them), hire someone to do them for you. If your time management and prioritizing skills are rusty, hire a small business coach or take a class to help you.

11. Ineffective marketing: Learn the basics of marketing and make sure that you track the success or failure of each marketing technique you use, then dump those that aren't working.

12. Ineffective sales techniques: Once you have a potential client, you have to know how to lead them down the sales path. If you don't understand the basics of selling, get some education on it immediately. If a selling technique doesn't work, try another one.

13. Poor customer service: Once you have a customer, you have to keep them. There are two key points here - make sure you pay attention to what the customer wants (and how these wants can change over time), and make sure you provide quick return of phone calls and emails, proper billing, win-win problem solving and an overall pleasant demeanor.

14. Entrepreneurial burnout: owning your own business requires a huge investment of time, money, energy and emotion. It's easy to work long days and forget to take time off. But in the end, this only causes burnout where your motivation and creativity will suffer, and a pessimistic attitude prevails. You'll find yourself unable to balance your business and personal life, and both will suffer. Schedule self-care time into your work week and be religious about taking time off from your business.


21 Steps To Home Business Success

Fifty million home-based businesses will be in operation by 1997, according to Link Resource's National Work-at Home Survey. All around the country, people who want more control over their lives are starting home businesses In New Orleans, Rick Hart's home based cajun Cargo ships seafood nation wide. In Palatine, Illinois, Stephaine Heavey works from home designing and selling original patterns for fabric dolls. And in Dallas, Lisa McElya published the Dallas Party & Event Planners Guidebook from the entire first floor of her two-story home. These three people are living the new American dream of owning a business, but avoiding the high overhead and start-up costs of a commercial location. If the idea of working from home is appealing, but you don't know where to begin, here is a step-by-step guide. STEP #1 DECIDE WHAT PART OF THE HOUSE TO USE Select an area away from family activity. The perfect space is a separate room (or perhaps the garage), but any area will do, if it can hold all the business supplies and equipment, and also provide enough work space for desks, tables, or counters. STEP #2 DETERMINE HOW MUCH TIME YOU CAN SPEND ON THE BUSINESS Many people start a home business on a part-time basis while raising children or working outside the home. Others start full-time when family and finances allow. However you begin, figure out how may hours per week you can devote to the business Make a weekly chart of your activities, examine it, and determine where the business fits. Don't assume you have time and find out later you don't. STEP #3 DECIDE ON THE TYPE OF BUSINESS Make a list of things you like to do, your work and volunteer experience, and items you own that can be used in a business. Look over this line-up, and using ideas from it, list possible businesses to start. Eliminate any business that isn't appealing or doesn't fill a need people have. For ideas on different types of businesses, consult the end of this article. Other ideas can be found in the source material listed at the end of this article. STEP #4 CHOOSE A LEGAL FORM The three basic legal forms are sole proprietorship, partnership, and corporation. The most common is the sole proprietorship. As its name implies, a sole proprietorship is owned by one individual. It is the oldest form of business, the easiest to start, and the least complicated to dissolve. Here are some of the advantages of this business form: 1. You own all the profits


3 Reasons Why You will want

3 Reasons Why You will want to Learn Computerized Forex Software design Stomach    by Daphne Lina

in Finance    (submitted 2012-02-03)

3 Reasons Why You will want to Understand Natural Forex Software variant Entire

Forex companies are actually booming with challenging. Regularly over $3 hundred with negotiations surface belonging to the arena. Associated with considerable liquidity belonging to the put, certain investors turn huge dollars around trading. Photograph 1 to be able to buy is more then 90% for the purchasers neglect usually to make benefit inside the tip at all hours.

The reason for which and either several can n't have sufficient roughly forex currency trading to proceeding not while in the research trade ways accurately. Before, merchants useful to investigate the markets quality around unquestionable solutions spending respect and design maps, pin products, relocating averages, Elliot send options, Japanese Taper Pierce Graphing, and. Some of the aforementioned products are normally unquestionable programs (better known as exact algorithms) which are acquainted science the put makes.


5 Steps to Increase Your

While other businesses slash prices and downsize, you can actually increase your profits, weather economic downturns and position your company for long-term profitable growth. These five steps will allow you to extract maximum profit from every sales transaction through easy-to-implement profitability management techniques.

By identifying all related revenue and costs per sales transaction, you can leverage that knowledge to reallocate your resources in support of more profitable sales; establish profitable selling prices; turn around your marginal sales transactions; and prune your profit drainers.

To increase the profits you generate from existing customers, follow these five steps:


Can Non Profits Be Profitable

There continues to be confusion among non-profit organizations about what the term "not-for-profit" really means and how to best conduct the "business of the business." It definitely does not mean that an organization has a license to go broke! Technically speaking, there are several different categories of non-profit organizations, but the one most commonly referenced is the community-based charitable non-profit, or 501(c)(3). The key word in the 501(c)(3) designation is "charitable." This simply means that the organization is providing a service to the community that is considered to be worthwhile, within IRS guidelines, and therefore deemed tax-exempt. As I have mentioned many times previously, this exemption is a privilege and must be treated as such.


Code Blue STAT For Profit

Healthcare is forever changing right before our eyes. With the Supreme Court's ruling earlier this summer, the landscape has forever been changed. The debate can go on and on whether the decision was right or wrong. This article isn't here to discuss the new healthcare law, but to analyze the facilities that provide the healthcare (i.e. not-for-profit vs. for profit). Some would argue that there aren't many differences between the two types. It appears that more and more not-for-profit, community owned healthcare entities are disappearing and being replaced by larger for-profit, corporate owned entities. Is this a criticism of our current healthcare situation, or a glimpse into what the future landscape will look like? Does a patient receive better treatment and care from a for-profit or is care independent from facility to facility? Is there still a place in healthcare for the community owned facility? Is there really any difference between the two types?


Dig Deep for Small Business

If you're serious about wanting to start a business, the first thing you want to do is take the time to understand what really makes you tick. Where do you get your drive? What gets you in a "zone?"

However, there's a lot more to figuring out the BEST business idea that will make you more money and give you more freedom to enjoy more success in your life.

And success to you may be different than success to someone else. It may not be all about money at all. It may not be about finding something you are completely passionate about. It may not be about having a "cool" business -- the latest fad or a unique niche.

Success is how you define it.


Forex Brokers Are They Worth

Forex Brokers: Are They Worth The Fees?   by Cristian Stan

in Investment / Currency Trading    (submitted 2009-10-14)

Forex brokers are there to help the traders with making trades in the Forex markets. They are very useful for the situations wherein the traders can not make a trade themselves, out of inexperience or timidity.

There are a lot of Forex brokers that tend to provide the brokerage services for helping the traders in making the Forex transactions. Some of these Forex brokers only accept clients that have a really high budget, but there still are many brokers who offer their service to a lot of clients with really varied investment portfolios.


Forex Forex Trade How To Trade

Forex, Forex Trade, How To Trade Forex, Live Rates, Forex Signals   by Sunny

in Business / Customer Service    (submitted 2012-06-02)

The Forex market is the largest economic forex trading signals market in the world. It functions using the values of supply and demand and accommodate the free-floating currencies of the world. Trading forex is a strong business but a few people make huge money. The winners all have one thing in common they have access to the correct information at the accurate time. But how do you know what the exact informatin is forex trading signals. There are very few forex trading signals providers that are authentically without fail profitable month after month. There are many that claim to be and have inspiring looking performance records but very often it transpire that they massage their numbers, and use hypothetical figures in their calculations, rather than trade their signals themselves.


Forex Forex for Investors Internet

Forex. Forex for Investors   by Schneekloth Tramel

in Internet    (submitted 2011-11-13)

The forex floor exchange is usually overlooked and once workers are desiring with safe investments.In fact, absolute majority people bear no vision what the forex trade truly is, which noticeably limits the spec the moment trying in direction of create a deep keep strategy.The forex buy and sell did endure a chaotic start yet still there undertake been significant breakthroughs using the world forex trading.But first, why would an individual want in direction of gi believe approximately the forex international market? The original reasons tropical island its familiarity, review less than the market, though with the product.The unit isle the extremely same wealth (dollars, pounds, francs), that just one bear in your wallet.The worthy of of get rid of foreign changes within seriously worth compared towards another unusual all the time.This reliable differ using price creates the offshore send (forex) market.This market isle larger that every thing the stock markets of the market combined.Its girth makes it succeeding closer to unthinkable towards manipulate.


Forex Guide Things That Every Beginner

It's a fact that forex trading became a highly preferable investment method in the last decade. Combined with the internet as a global 24/7 network forex is reachable to everyone. I'll not give you about the basic explanation of forex trading in this article. I'm sure that i don't have to tell what forex trading is. People which familiar or have an interest in an investment know forex already. Don't they?

Forex trading is basically just an investment

As any other investment, there are always benefits and risks beyond forex trading. Many people/organization, especially forex brokers, its affiliate and those who earn their income by providing some forex related services says that forex trading have so much advantages compared to other investments; Forex is easy, with its non-stop 24 hours market, its wide range adjustable leverage, its automated trading platform, its offered better opportunity for income resource, and many more -- you name it as much as you want to...