How to Keep Your Business from Failing

It’s a scary thought – you came into business, excited at a new idea, buzzing with the possibilities that lay ahead and laughing in the face of failure.

Six, twelve or eighteen months on, the realities have hit: you have experienced the ups and downs of running a business: you have got to grips with accounts, day to day expenses, marketing, invoicing and perhaps stock flow. You have discovered the bad bits of running a business.

Of course it’s not all bad: sometimes your invoices will flow, your customers will pay you on time and you can enjoy being a small business owner and think that all’s right with the world. It seems to be the case, however that business can be feast or famine: either everyone wants your services or no one wants your services. There seems to be no steady flow of work.

First of all, you need to keep a steady head. Take an honest look at your business. What are the good and bad points? Where are problems arising and how are you dealing with them? Check the invoices, check the cash flow and check the customers that you are talking to. Are you doing all you can to keep your customers happy?

Once you have taken stock of your business, then think through what you need to do to improve the bad points. Do you need to increase your marketing? Do you need to set time aside regularly to chase up invoices? Do you need someone else on board to take on the little tasks that are filling your day when you have more important needs to take care of?

Decide on up to three points of action, write them down, pin them to the noticeboard and put them on the calendar then act on them. Do what needs to be done to keep your business afloat. Take the action you need to take and get your business back on track.

It’s your business. Whether it succeeds or fails depends on you alone. You can choose to take the steps to improve it and move it to the next level, or you can choose to let it fail. Sometimes events happen that are beyond our control and in that situation things change and there may be little you can do. Where you have it in your power to instill a change for the better, then do it.

Your business may thank you for it.

Sarah Charmley is a freelance copywriter, editor and proofreader who can use her skills to improve your website and give it that professional touch. You can get in touch with her by using the form on this website.

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Does the End of the News of the World Justify the Means?

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Here in the UK, there is a huge storm building over allegations that a Sunday newspaper, The News of the World, employed very underhand tactics to build their news stories including hacking into the phone of a teenager later found murdered and into celebrity phones illegally. Many of the public and politicians are up in arms about the stories that are daily adding to the pile of dung that is acts that have been committed in the name of news.

Some commentators have been less angry – pointing out that it was probably known that this was carried out and that the anger that has been whipped up may be misplaced – we suspected that this was going on and it is just that our suspicions have been confirmed.

This story in which journalists have lost their jobs, a business owner has lost a lucrative deal and many people have lost peace of mind is certainly unsavoury. The problem is that all of us can be guilty of taking the short cut that we are not so comfortable with or the deal that we probably shouldn’t.

As human beings in the world of business, we are subject to temptation every day. Does this mean that we should take it?

No.

As members of the human race, we need to learn to say that short, two-letter word and mean it. Compromising your ideals once makes it easier to do the next time around. Sharp or dishonest business practices usually end up hurting someone – even if it is only yourself once you are found out. Leave the unscrupulous dealings to someone else and make sure that your work is something that you can honestly say you are proud of.

What do you think? Do you think that a little shady business dealing doesn’t do any harm? Or are you honest above all else? Let me know in the comments below.

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