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David Brown

7 Statistics That Explain Why Your Business Could Fail

Beware these factors if you want to succeed in retail.




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THIS COLUMN MIGHT not start with the most positive of headlines, but let’s not be rose colored about business success. Many businesses do fail — and the last 12 months have certainly provided us with more challenges than usual in this area. Understanding the reasons for failure can help with the process of prevention, so let’s dive into the top reasons businesses don’t continue for an extended period of time (because businesses often fail from multiple issues, you will find these stats add up to more than 100 percent).

  • 82 percent fail due to cash flow issues. A lack of cash has long been the biggest cause of business failure. Many feel sales are the main issue, but cash flow, which can also result from growing too quickly, is by far the biggest issue for businesses.
  • 27 percent aren’t able to get the funding they need. This goes hand in hand with cash flow, as a failure to get funds to tide you over until things are better will also cause major issues.
  • 42 percent fail to bring anything new to the market. Are you a business offering the same thing your competitors do? Sadly, many business owners are guilty of imagining a point of difference when none ultimately exists. Almost 50 percent of failures are attributable to the fact that a business offers nothing new and that no one would miss them if they went. Sobering, but true.
  • 19 percent fail because of their competition. Are you looking at your opposition? Are you studying what they are doing so you can do it better? Or are you letting them take the lion’s share of your trade without a fight?
  • 23 percent don’t have the right team running the business. The best businesses with the best opportunities in the best markets will fail if they aren’t run properly and don’t have the sales team to back it up.
  • 17 percent lack a good business model. Having a clear plan increases your chances of success and goes hand in hand with getting the funding you need. Few will lend to a business that doesn’t know where it is going.
  • 14 percent fail to market themselves effectively. You can have the best idea in the perfect market delivering the greatest results, but if customers don’t know about it, you may as well not bother. As a colleague once said, “Failing to market is like winking in the dark.”

Which of these issues present a threat to your business? If you feel yourself struggling, which issue is relevant to you right now? Prevention is always better than cure, so take the time to identify your potential stumbling blocks before it’s too late.

(Thanks to Business Insider and Fundera for the above data.)

David Brown is the President of The Edge Retail Academy (sister company of The Edge), who provide expert consulting services to help with all facets of your business including inventory management, staffing, sales techniques, financial growth and retirement planning...All custom-tailored to your store’s needs. By utilizing the power of The Edge, we analyze major Key Performance Indicators that point to your store’s current challenges and future opportunities. Edge Pulse is the ideal add-on to the Edge, to better understand critical sales and inventory data to improve business profitability. It benchmarks your store against 1100+ other Edge Users and ensures you stay on top of market trends. 877-569-8657, Ext. 001 or [email protected] or



Thinking of Liquidating? Wilkerson’s Got You Covered

Bil Holehan, the manager of Julianna’s Fine Jewelry in Corte Madera, Calif., decided to go on to the next chapter of his life when the store’s owner and namesake told him she was set to retire. Before they left, Holehan says they decided to liquidate some of the store’s aging inventory. They chose Wilkerson for the sale. Why? “Friends had done their sales with Wilkerson and they were very satisfied,” says Holehan. He’d enthusiastically recommend Wilkerson to anyone looking to stage a liquidation or going-out-of-business sale. “There were no surprises,” he says. “They were very professional in their assessment of our store, what we could expect from the sale and they were very detailed in their projections. They were pretty much on the money.”

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