3 ways to fail in business and how to easily avoid them.

You’ve tried everything. You’ve created a product, and then tweaked it, and tweaked it again, but you’re still not getting the volume of clients you’d like. Fear takes over that you may fail in business. Frustrated by slowing sales, you create something completely new. Consequently, you go from offering conveyance consulting to instructing yoga classes. (Don’t laugh…this actually happens. And conveyancers can be very zen-like)  It makes sense in your mind and you’re working your proverbial buns off, but you aren’t gaining clients or traction. Why?

This article will break down three aspects that will kill any possibility of future business. I see budding business owners stumble over these again and again, and I have yet to hear about it in business advice circles.

The rampant entreprenuer

It’s always good to follow your passion. Maybe you could easily run a restaurant, direct movies, or manage a local council. That’s doesn’t mean you should do them all. One of the most common things heard from business schools and the consulting world is to niche down.  If your business should niche down, that means the business owner needs to niche down too. That is until they hit the point of excellence and consistent profits.

While most people have multiple interests, your audience isn’t going to understand or have the time to pay attention to them all. Therefore, make sure you pick what your business is about AND STICK WITH IT.  Yes, things get tough, and businesses rarely take off with astounding profit margins in the first year. Have a plan so you can live comfortably, but what shouldn’t be in that plan, is your business changing tack. Here are the most common ways of changing tack that are death-knells to why people fail in business:

1. Changing your discourse 

Whatever the specialty is of your business, make it your business to talk about everything from the nitty-gritty to the generalities of that topic. We specialize in creating a digital presence for SME’s, so we talk about the struggles SME’s face (like this article), and anything to do with digital marketing that helps overcome those struggles. But if I suddenly started talking about how to play the perfect hand of poker when you’re “under the gun”, it wouldn’t quite fit, and I’d lose you and the rest of the audience.

Business owners change the direction of their overall discourse because they can’t get traction. In an effort to get the attention of an audience, they change topics or bring in issues that have nothing to do with their main topic. Whenever your audience isn’t clear about what you do, you are likely to fail in business if you continue with the same marketing. For instance, my favorite one is when someone advertises that they are going to talk about Brand, but they end up talking about mindset. It could be because they don’t know what brand building is about, or more likely they’re pandering to a larger audience.

2. Introducing a wide variety of products

If you haven’t caught onto the theme yet, it’s all about the niche or specialising in business. In the hunt for gaining an audience, there is a tendency to want to try to offer too much wide variety. This ends up affecting Peter McKinnonyour website, your content marketing, and ultimately your product and time spent doing it all. Even the greats can be guilty of this.  For instance, one of my favorite artists to keep up with is Peter McKinnon. These days he’s known as being one of the most talented photographers on youtube if not in the world. But when he started his youtube channel it was pretty difficult to understand the purpose of his channel (Sorry Pete). Overtime he specialised and he has become the photographic juggernaut that he is today.

At the end of the day, you need to enjoy what you do. That doesn’t mean times won’t be tough or things won’t be a pain in the ass. But dealing with those times will help you to develop your passion for your products and your customers will notice. If you are constantly changing your product offerings, you are just going to leave people scratching their heads.

3. Constantly setting up new businesses 

Some people go a step beyond product variation and instead up placing a wide variety of products under the same brand or business, they set up multiple businesses.  This doesn’t solve the problem of audience confusion. Not only is it a major drain on your time, but it makes it difficult to answer the simple question of “what do you do for a living?”  You end up spouting a laundry list of all the different hats you wear. You might get an initial sprint of sales, but once you exhaust your natural market (your closest friends and family), the tough times come back again, sales slow down, and your mind starts wandering to new ventures.

These three scenarios formulate what I call the “rampant entrepreneur”, and they all lead quite quickly to you failing in business. Simply setting up businesses and offering tons of products isn’t entrepreneurship, it’s an expensive hobby. However, there are a few ways you can easily steer clear of these tendencies.

How to steer clear of these pitfalls

Analyse the market (your audience)

We are actually going to work backwards now. Number 3, setting up new businesses, happens and causes you to fail in business because you haven’t properly analysed the market you are entering. Spend time, months, years even, understanding why people buy the product you are thinking of selling. Now only why, but also when, so you know the best time to approach them.

Give yourself time

If they aren’t buying your product it could be because you just introduced your product to everyone, they don’t know if they can trust you, whether you’ll be around tomorrow or will you switch up again and be selling hot dogs by next Thursday.

Have patience

Keep talking. Keep creating content. Make sure it’s unique. Make sure your products and your content interact well together in the larger ecosystem that is your brand. Afterall, that ecosystem IS brand. If what you are doing is truly a passion, keep at it,. When times are tough, figure out how to pare down so you can stay in the game. When people see that you will be there through thick and thin, the sales will come.


Remember, it starts with passion. You have to know your topic inside and out. Once you have that, talk about it. Even the tiniest detail can make a difference in showing off your professionalism. If you have questions about messaging or marketing, check out our other posts, or feel free to get in contact any time. We are here to help.