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?

You have to have a targeted PR campaign in place. This stuff can sound very grown up and scary but it really doesn’t have to be. A PR campaign can be as small as taking out a targeted Facebook ad, telling people who might be interested about it, carrying business cards and starting a blog. It doesn’t have to be a giant leap, it’s all about taking small and considered steps in the right direction.

It’s also not about bombarding everyone you know, it’s about building community and nurturing a buzz from the right people. Seth Godin once said that you only need 1000 true fans to be a success. I always remember that when I’m feeling lost!

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3. You’re not working hard – or smart – enough

It’s all very well and good having a brilliant new idea and a genius PR campaign in the pipeline, but you also have to be willing to put the work in… and running your own business is hard bloody work. Are you getting up early to crack on with your to do list or laying in bed past noon? Are you turning down social invites to get things done? Are you delegating where you need to and really focusing on what it is you do best? If you can’t honestly say that you’re putting in as much time and energy as is physically possible, maybe this is not the path for you.

A lot of people dream of one day running their own business or working for themselves, but what few of these ‘one day’ people realise, is that that day needs to be today! What’s stopping you starting right this second? The other thing people fail to notice, is just how much work it all is. Sure, the already established businesses make it look easy, but don’t compare your chapter one to someone else’s chapter twenty. I read that phrase somewhere this week and it really resonated with me. It’s also a good thing to remember if you’re feeling like you don’t match up to everyone else.

No one wants their business to fail but if your business isn’t fulfilling a fundamental need, isn’t being seen by the right kinds of people, and you’re not willing – or able – to put the hard work in, then maybe your brilliant new idea really isn’t that brilliant after all.



  1. great post – its like a chain reaction.. product, pr and working hard to get to market and more importantly stay in the market. You’ll never be able to retire on a one trick pony. sometimes you just need to question the basics xo

  2. Thank you, this is just what I needed to read today. Working for myself is hard work but I am blessed with great clients and a variety of jobs so it never feels like work. You have reminded me that I am doing all the right things to the best of my ability and it takes time to get where I want to be. Most of all, I need to stop trying to skip chapters 🙂

  3. Great post!

    I love your Green Room posts, am currently working on getting my own business up and running and keeping up to date with the Green room makes me feel like I’m doing the right thing or it stops me from making silly mistakes.

    “don’t compare your chapter one to someone else’s chapter twenty” As much as I try not to, its always too easy to compare myself to other people and all too easy to forget that I’m just starting out and they may have been working at their business for years. That quote is definitely going up in my office to keep me going!

    Thank you!

  4. Great advice Kat!

    I love these Green Room posts!

    I’m loving the fact that I fit into your ‘makes people happier’bracket!

    As for the right product – your so right. We started of with three proucts, one didn’t work, so we scrapped it. Best thing we did, now we do something much better in it’s place and it’s now our most successful range!

    And it’s too true about hard work. Some friends and family have found it difficult to understand that we are SOOOO busy and have complained about us not being around as much. But I know it will be worth it in the end. Plus the excitement of our customers and the fact that they love our products so much really helps us keep going.

  5. Fantastic & truly inspiring post. Love the phrase ‘don’t compare your chapter one to someone else’s chapter twenty’ – so very true!

  6. Ross

    A great article that came at a great time for me to reflect and reset. Thank you!

    ‘..don’t compare your chapter one to someone else’s chapter twenty..’ – wow! Really struck a chord that one sentence.


  7. Sensible advice. It’s important to ask these questions and to act on the answers constructively, even if it means making big, scary changes, instead of just sticking with the status quo and hoping for a miracle that isn’t going to happen.

  8. “don’t compare your chapter one to someone else’s chapter twenty” Is the most sound advice i’ve read in a long time.

    Great Post Kat!

  9. Nadine

    God, I love your Green Room posts. They are such good value! I’ve been running my own business since 2008, and I can’t believe I’ve only very recently found out what a treasure trove of advice and wisdom the Green Room is! I only started poking around on your site because of the Blogcademy. (I’m not interested in planning a wedding: I got married years ago, it was ultra basic and the only two wedding-y things about it were the Registry Office and my ring. No guests, no dress, no cake, no flowers, NOTHING!) But luckily I have now found you and can soak up all your genius-ness! Can’t wait to meet you at Blogcademy AKL in November. 🙂

  10. THank you so much for sharing this! I really needed it! I loved the sentence that you shared about not comparing yourself with others. I do that too too often and it used to hold me back really bad. So far I have worked really hard just to get past THAT point. I am finally getting there though. Your advice is always so spot on and full of your personality. YOU ROCK! thanks!! (:

  11. Love this, such simple but useful advice. I need to be more strict and scheduled with my time and stop letting invites get in the way of actually getting work done.

  12. Great advice here Kat.

    I would agree with the comment on comparing yourself to other professionals – it’s about finding out the wants and needs of your market. Even with Wedding Videos, you can aim budget or you can aim top-dollar, you can do country weddings or just civil ceremonies. You could even help where some couples have been let-down by previous suppliers (something I find often on Twitter).


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