The Three Reasons Why Your Business is Going to Fail

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While there are infinite and varying possibilities as to why your business could fail, there are just three that will all but guarantee it.

1. Your business doesn’t provide something people want

It seems simple – sell something people want to buy – so why do so many businesses flounder at the first hurdle? It’s all very well wanting to come up with ‘the next big thing’ but if there’s no market for it then what’s the point?

In some ways exactly what you’re offering doesn’t matter at this stage. What does matter however is that it either solves a problem, makes people happier or it takes away something negative. For extra bonus points, it might even be able to hit all three! If you don’t believe me, Facebook is a great example. The social network solve a problem by connecting you with people you don’t see every day, makes you happier by entertaining you and removes the negative of having to actually speak to people in real life (come on, you know it’s true!)

You might think your new product or service is genius, but unless it adheres to at least one of these fundamental needs, it’s going to fail. Why? Because your idea is worthless without customers who actually believe in it and would part with their hard earned cash to get it. Is your idea something people actually want? Have you seen a demand from your target market and spoken to people (other than your mother) and had a positive response? The value in your product can not be determined by you, it has to be determined by your customer. You can’t base a business on what you think people want, a successful business must be based on what a customer actually wants (whether they know it yet or not!)

Think about your own business right now. Are you offering something that solves a problem, makes people happier and/or removes something negative? If you’re answering yes but your business is still failing, it might be time to move onto point number two.

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2. Your business isn’t reaching the right people

It’s all well and good having the most amazing new idea or product, but if no one knows it exists then who do you expect to actually buy it?

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Spending my Birthday at the Los Angeles Blogcademy

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After a blissful few days in Portland, it was time to hit the road and fly down to Los Angeles for the next stop on The Blogcademy world tour. I’m not gonna lie, I’ve visited LA once before and didn’t really fall in love with it, but I was looking forward to experiencing it with my girls and seeing if my mind could be changed. I mean obviously the weather made it much more bearable, it was a scorching 25 degrees a lot of the time which was rather blissful, especially when hearing that it was snowing heavily at home!

The thing that drives me crazy about LA is all the damn driving. The city is so spread out that if you’re car-less (as we were) and in the wrong neighbourhood you’re a bit screwed. Luckily we discovered an amazing ride sharing service call Lyft and we stayed in a loft just in the heart of Hollywood, right in the middle of the action. Although it was noisy at the weekends, it was the perfect location for us as it was just a short car ride to our workshop space, McCaddenSpace Studio.

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Unlike a lot of LA, there were also plenty of things to do in our neighbourhood that were walking distance. Gala & I quickly became obsessed with the juice bar that turned me into a green juice addict and all three of us agreed that Tender Greens needs to move to our respective cities, like, now. There was a Frog frozen yoghurt stop (yes, the same chain as Snog here in the UK!) and an Urban Outfitters where we stocked up on all our rainbow film!

The workshop fell on my birthday weekend and I was excited to spend it with some many inspiring babes. They spoilt me with unicorns, flowers and yummy cakes!

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Unsupportive

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I‘m a regular follower of your blog and whilst I love the amaze-balls photography and reading about real couples kick-ass big days, what I love most is the Green Room, or more specifically the attitude you have to your business, brand and beliefs. Because of that (and I don’t normally do this I swear!) I’m writing to you to ask for some words of wisdom.

I’m at the very beginning of setting up an online business as a virtual assistant/PA but I’m starting to crumble under the weight of everyone else’s opinions already which in turn is making me feel like I should just quit. 

I’m 29 and to date (deep breath) I’ve had 23 jobs… I’ve never been happy in anything I’ve done. I initially started out training to be a primary school teacher and did that for a year after realising it wasn’t for me and since then I’ve been lost. I floated into social work, vets, travel agents, office support, housing associations, youth workers, ambulance 999 call handler – you name it I’ve probably done it. I’m currently working as an office manager at a software company and honestly want to cry most days. My colleagues are lovely and the managers are OK –  I have definitely had worse – but I’m so unfulfilled and I hate to admit it but I feel like a bit of a failure.

Setting up on my own is all I’ve ever wanted to do and I know I have the fire in my belly that will spur me on. Ultimately I want freedom and I do believe I can have that by working for myself. True to form I’ve been through a lot of business ideas up to this point! Everything from running a pancake van to starting a theatre company for kids, but this idea of being a virtual PA is the first I’ve had where the passion to get it going hasn’t gone away quickly. 

My main issue is getting past the negative and ‘helpful’ comments from my friends and family that are actually really sarcastic and really hurtful. Everyone keeps saying that this idea is “just another one of my phases” and “it will pass” or they roll their eyes when I start to talk about my business ideas. My mother even said I have a “self-destruct button”. It makes me feel rotten rotten rotten, drains my self-confidence and makes me feel like maybe I actually don’t have what it takes to get the customers and make this work. I know that my mum is not saying it to be mean or nasty, but in this particular area of my life I really feel like my loved ones don’t understand me at all.

I’m finding it really hard to ignore what they are saying and draw positives from it to give me the strength to continue.  My two sisters (both younger than me) went down the very traditional path of school-university-qualified in something-successful careers-married-children. I am none of those things. I feel like such a failure. 

I’d be eternally grateful for any advice or help you could give me to assist in giving me my focus back! I understand you’re a busy lady, thanks a million squillions and I’ll understand if you can’t reply…

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My heart literally ached when reading your email. I want to reach through my computer screen and give you the biggest hug ever. I’m sorry you feel so low and that your family and friends are being so rubbishly unsupportive right now.

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Business Bites: Moving Forwards, Always

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Photography: Made U Look Photography taken at The Blogcademy: Portland!

You never really know how a new blog series is going to go down with your readers, so I was so thrilled to read all your positive comments about Business Bites last weekend. I appreciate every single comment I get on this ‘lil blog of mine (ahem, well except those kinds of comments) so keep ‘em coming!

I hope you’ve had an awesomely productive week. I’ve been making real progress with issue three of the magazine and I’m literally bursting at the seams with excitement. I’m hoping (touch friggin’ wood) to be publishing it mid-Summer again so watch this space. We’re down to the last few copies of issue two (once it’s gone it’s gone!) so bloody hell, I better not have gone and flipping jinxed it now…

Alrighty then, let’s get on with the show…

♥ If you’re a photographer in the UK, I’m sure you won’t have missed the news of the government’s new ‘Instagram law’. There’s obviously been a lot of angry photographers raging about it, but this BBC piece offers some much needed clarity
♥ However it’s obviously going to be pretty crappy if the law is passed, so if you’re in the UK please take two minutes to sign this online petition!
How to move ahead when everything sucks
Say it backwards
♥ This market research for the wedding industry is so invaluable
Explaining what makes you, you
♥ Having business cards on you at all times is so important but Danielle took hers to another level. You’re never going to forget the babe that gave you one of these are you!?
♥ Do you make these 6 domain name mistakes?
♥ Find what you love and let it kill you

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Keep Portland Weird: The Blogcademy Recap

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After a solo long haul flight, an epic Q&A livestream and a whistle stop tour around Portland’s least reputable establishments, I barely had time to catch my breath and it was time for the next leg of The Blogcademy World Tour. Portland is a weird little town, but one I felt an instant affinity with. I loved all the independent stores selling all manner of crazy creations, and the candy-coloured houses and walls obviously made my little heart sing!

Over Easter weekend Gala, Shauna and I descended on The Ace Hotel, in the downtown area of the city. With our photography BFFs and Auntie Nubs (Shauna’s Aunt and our trusty assistant for the weekend) in tow, we were ready to meet a new crop of Blogcadettes and to teach up a storm.

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I’m always nervous before a workshop, but as usual the babes that attended were nothing but sweet, inspiring and amazing. Within minutes of meeting them all my wobbles subsided and we were laughing, getting to know all about each other and quickly becoming instant best friends. We were blessed with students who had travelled far and wide to attend, but extra special props must go to our scholarship winner, Jessica, who came all the way from Arkensas on her own. She’d never even been on an areoplane before and she came all that way – what a babe!

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I love this photo because it totally looks like I’m thinking “damn I hate these bitches!” but really, that’s just my “I’m literally the best dancer ever” face!

Of course The Blogcademy would never be possible without our amazing sponsors. Let’s give them some LOVE shall we?

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Copycat

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Hi Kat, I hope your well. I really need some help and don’t know who else to ask that will give me a straight answer. I have huge respect for you, your morals and your attitude. I hope you’ll be able to find the time to reply.

I launched a wedding blog a few months ago. Without going into too much detail (and using up more of your time) a lot of blood, sweat, tears and money has been put into it. I’ve created a team of contributors as well as showcasing local wedding businesses. It was a huge risk but since it launched we’ve had a fantastic response and we’ve already been getting enquiries for advertising! I’m really excited about where it’s going.

But I have a problem and a question for you. As your blog continues to grow and it attracts more attention, did you ever have other bloggers start to follow your format? Maybe showing similar posts to you but a week or so later? If so, how did you react to this and what did you do?

Basically, soon after we launched another blog with the same focus as us launched too (coincidence). It didn’t bother me at first but as the weeks have past we’ve been noticing her format changing, and her posts are following a similar style to ours. It is beginning to annoy me and my team as we’ve all a spent a lot of time researching & writing these posts and it feels like this other blogger is coming along and just repeating everything that we do.

I’m trying really hard to give her the benefit of the doubt but I really don’t know what to do. I can’t stand being copied but I know it happens everywhere but I’m worried about the fall out if I put my foot down and get angry or ‘out’ her. We’ve put so much effort into creating something different and we hate the idea of someone else piggy backing off all our hard work even if it is purely a coincidence.

What would you do? 

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