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10 Reasons Small Businesses Fail

10 Reasons Small Businesses Fail

There are times businesses fail, and even when you feel you have done everything right, things go wrong. The odds of a business achieving success are low; that is why it is important to pay attention to every detail required to run a business. If you can stay clear of the mistakes of business owners discussed below, your business is far more likely to be around for a long time.

“There are no disasters in business that you can’t avoid if you see them coming and make the adjustments.” –Boune T. Pickens. Jr.

1. They lack focus

There should be a clear objective regarding the direction a business is going and where it should be within a proposed timeframe. Many fail to understand this concept and pursue several objectives at once. It is better to have a core vision and steer your employees in that direction.

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2. They make poor decisions

Businesses succeed because of smart decisions. It is important to avoid poor decisions if you want your business to last and make money. It is better to get as much information and review it meticulously than to make hasty judgements based on too little data. Perhaps you should try to draw up worst case scenarios and discuss them with your advisory team before taking any action.

3. They lack the ability to adapt to changes

Change is constant, and we live in a technological age where change happens every second. To survive as a business, you have to constantly adapt and improve your strengths to meet with the demands before you. You can’t be stagnant and expect success.

4. They maintain poor leadership

Every successful business needs the right leadership to continually challenge its people to step out of their comfort zones and seek answers. You can be kind and compassionate, but that won’t yield results if you do not challenge your people.

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5. They have fierce competition

Competition is a certainty in business. But sometimes, competition can be so fierce that you are forced to shut down your business. Competition shouldn’t create fear, but should challenge you to get better and stand out from the crowd.

6. They stay in the wrong location

Location is pivotal to how far a business can go. You cannot be located close to a fierce competitor and expect to succeed. When choosing a location, it is better to make sure it is going to work towards your advantage. Consider the road network, accessibility, proximity to your clients, population, and demographics.

7. They lack the required skills

For your business to succeed, you have to have the right employees who are skilled and can help execute the mission of the company. According to Warren Buffet, “Risk comes from not knowing what you are doing.” To be successful in your business, you need the right experience and knowledge to make the business sustainable.

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8. They delegate duties poorly

Money is always tight during the start-up stage. It is better to outsource or delegate duties to the right personnel. Rather than being a “do it all” kind of boss, you should focus on your strengths and delegate other duties to professionals that can execute them appropriately and maximize the output of your business.

9. They lack sufficient capital

There is a reason why business owners seek funding from investors and venture capitalists. Money and cash flow is the life blood of every business. No matter how great your business idea or product may be, without the capital and profitability of the business, you won’t be able to take your business to the next level and attain success.

10. They don’t have enough credit

Another reason businesses fail is because money for its services or products is not promptly payed by customers. You do not need bad debts when running a business. Cash flow is important to running a business; making sure your customers are loyal and consistent in paying you is advantageous to the long term success of your business.

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Featured photo credit: http://www.flickr.com via flickr.com

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Casey Imafidon

Specialized in motivation and personal growth, providing advice to make readers fulfilled and spurred on to achieve all that they desire in life.

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Last Updated on April 19, 2021

The Art of Taking a Break So You Will Be Productive Again

The Art of Taking a Break So You Will Be Productive Again

Think of yourself as a cup. Each day, you wake up full. But as you go about your day—getting tasks done and interacting with people—the amount in your cup gradually gets lower. And as such, you get less and less effective at whatever it is you’re supposed to be doing. You’re running out of steam.

The solution is obvious: if you don’t have anything left to pour out, then you need to find a way to fill yourself up again. In work terms, that means you should take a break—an essential form of revitalizing your motivation and focus.

Taking a break may get a bad rap in hustle culture, but it’s an essential, science-based way to ensure you have the capacity to live your life the way you want to live it.

In the 1980s, when scientists began researching burnout, they described this inner capacity as “resources.” We all need to replenish our resources to cope with stress, work effectively, and avoid burnout.[1]

When the goal is to get things done, it may sound counterproductive to stop what you’re doing. But if you embrace the art of taking a break, you can be more efficient and effective at work.

Here are five ways on how you can take a break and boost your productivity.

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1. Break for the Right Amount of Time, at the Right Time

When I started my first job out of college, I was bent on pleasing my boss as most entry-level employees do. So, every day, I punched in at 9 AM on the dot, took a 60-minute lunch break at noon, and left no earlier than 5 PM.

As I’ve logged more hours in my career, I’ve realized the average, eight-hour workday with an hour lunch break simply isn’t realistic—especially if your goal is to put your best foot forward at work.

That’s why popular productivity techniques like the Pomodoro advocate for the “sprint” principle. Basically, you work for a short burst, then stop for a short, five-minute break. While the Pomodoro technique is a step forward, more recent research shows a shorter burst of working followed by a longer pause from work might actually be a more effective way to get the most out of stepping away from your desk.

The team at DeskTime analyzed more than 5 million records of how workers used their computers on the job. They found that the most productive people worked an average of 52 minutes, then took a 17-minute break afterward.[2]

What’s so special about those numbers? Leave it to neuroscience. According to researchers, the human brain naturally works in spurts of activity that last an hour. Then, it toggles to “low-activity mode.”[3]

Even so, keep in mind that whatever motivates you is the most effective method. It’s more about the premise—when you know you have a “finish line” approaching, you can stay focused on the task or project at hand.

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There are many applications and tools that can help you block distracting websites and apps (such as social media) for specific periods of the day. Similarly, you can also use some mailing apps like Mailbrew to receive all the social media content or newsletters you don’t want to miss in your inbox at a time you decide.

So, no matter how long you work, take a break when you sense you’re losing steam or getting bored with the task. Generally, a 10-15 minute break should reinvigorate you for whatever’s coming next.

2. Get a Change of Scenery—Ideally, Outdoors

When it comes to increasing a person’s overall mental health, there’s no better balm than nature. Research has found that simply being outside can restore a person’s mind from mental fatigue related to work or studying, ultimately contributing to improved work performance (and even improved work satisfaction).[4]

No lush forest around? Urban nature can be just as effective to get the most out of your break-taking. Scientists Stephen R. Kellert and Edward O. Wilson, in their book The Biophilia Hypothesis, claimed that even parks, outdoor paths, and building designs that embrace “urban nature” can lend a sense of calm and inspiration, encouraging learning and alertness for workers.

3. Move Your Body

A change of scenery can do wonders for your attention span and ability to focus, but it’s even more beneficial if you pair it with physical movement to pump up that adrenaline of yours. Simply put, your body wasn’t designed to be seated the entire day. In fact, scientists now believe that extended periods of sitting are just as dangerous to health as smoking.[5]

It’s not always feasible to enjoy the benefits of a 30-minute brisk walk during your workday, especially since you’ll most likely have less energy during workdays. But the good news is, for productivity purposes, you don’t have to. Researchers found that just 10 minutes of exercise can boost your memory and attention span throughout the entire day.[6]

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So, instead of using your break to sit and read the news or scroll your social media account, get out of your chair and move your body. Take a quick walk around the block. Do some jumping jacks in your home office. Whatever you choose, you’ll likely find yourself with a sharper focus—and more drive to get things done.

4. Connect With Another Person

Social connection is one of the most important factors for resilience. When we’re in a relationship with other people, it’s easier to cope with stress—and in my experience, getting social can also help to improve focus after a work break.

One of my favorite ways to break after a 30-or-so minute sprint is to hang out with my family. And once a week, I carve out time to Skype my relatives back in Turkey. It’s amazing how a bit of levity and emotional connection can rev me up for the next work sprint.

Now that most of us are working from home, getting some face-to-face time with a loved one isn’t as hard as it once was. So, take the time to chat with your partner. Take your kids outside to run around the backyard. If you live alone, call a friend or relative. Either way, coming up for air to chat with someone who knows and cares about you will leave you feeling invigorated and inspired.

5. Use Your Imagination

When you’re working with your head down, your brain has an ongoing agenda: get things done, and do it well. That can be an effective method for productivity, but it only lasts so long—especially because checking things off your to-do list isn’t the only ingredient to success at work. You also need innovation.

That’s why I prioritize a “brain break” every day. When I feel my “cup” getting empty, I usually choose another creative activity to exercise my brain, like a Crossword puzzle, Sudoku, or an unrelated, creative project in my house.

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And when I’m really struggling to focus, I don’t do anything at all. Instead, I let my brain roam free for a bit, following my thoughts down whatever trail they lead me. As it turns out, there’s a scientific benefit to daydreaming. It reinforces creativity and helps you feel more engaged with the world, which will only benefit you in your work.[7]

Whether you help your kids with their distance learning homework, read an inspiring book, or just sit quietly to enjoy some fresh air, your brain will benefit from an opportunity to think and feel without an agenda. And, if you’re anything like me, you might just come up with your next great idea when you aren’t even trying.

Final Thoughts

Most of us have to work hard for our families and ourselves. And the current world we live in demands the highest level of productivity that we can offer. However, we also have to take a break once in a while. We are humans, after all.

Learning the art of properly taking a break will not only give you the rest you need but also increase your productivity in the long run.

More on the Importance of Taking a Break

Featured photo credit: Helena Lopes via unsplash.com

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