It might surprise you to learn that more than 95% of businesses fail within the first 10 years of first seeing the light of day? That means that less than 5% actually succeeded. Or rather… SURVIVED!

This blog post is about the reasons why so many of us fail. What differences are there between the failing and surviving entrepreneurs?

One of the greatest business minds explains that it all starts with 2 huge factors:

  1. Innovation
  2. Marketing

Innovate or die

Personally I think innovation means improvement, ensuring that you always meet and over deliver on your clients needs. It’s not actually hard to make money at some point in time, sustaining growth and becoming successful however is not as easy.

It’s a given fact that all your competitors try to get ahead of you, not innovating means standing idle while you let your competitors take over your position in the markets. If you are not staying ahead, you are falling behind.

To prevent this from happening you need to start focussing on your client and… NOT YOUR PRODUCT. Find out all you can about your client(s) and figure out how you can serve their needs, remember though that your clients might not even know what they need yet. It’s a fairly simple construct:

  1. Over deliver on your promises every time.
  2. Meet your clients needs in every possible way
  3. Figure out what your clients might not even know they need and deliver!

3 steps, which will consequently convert your customers into raving fans.

Take Apple as an example. Personally I don’t like where Apple is going since Steve Jobs passed away, but still it’s one of the most incredible and most profitable businesses of all time. Why? They have a huge fanbase, they innovated when it mattered, invented things that we didn’t even know we needed, and they over delivered.

The result? An enormous following of fans that become brand ambassadors for the company, queues of hours to get one of Apple’s new products when they first come out, customers throwing down ridiculous amounts of money to get the latest gadget. And based on what? All 3 of the above steps!!

Fear is the mind killer

One of the biggest dream killers is by far FEAR, it prevents people from focussing, having trust in their own abilities and even worse it will limit your potential. Our mindset defines what we believe we can do, as Henry Ford (Founder of the Ford Motor Company) said it:

“The man who thinks he can and the man who thinks he can’t are both right”

Henry Ford

Simply put, by thinking we can’t do something we make it infinitely harder to actually do it. So how do I overcome these fears Dennis (I can hear you think)? Well.. to be honest, there is no single solution to this issue, in my opinion it has allot to do with our education system. We learn from an early age that making mistakes is something to be prevented at all costs, in school we get grades based on how many failures we did or did not encounter during our time there. Never though did you get a reward for failing at something though (except for that one time you came in last at some sport event but still got a shitty medal).

A huge misconception if you ask me. I fail all the time, actually that is the only reason I am currently regarded an expert in multiple fields. Why? I failed more often than others dared to try, hence I know all about stuff that you SHOULD NOT DO in your business. Simply put, DO NOT BE AFRAID OF FAILING. Actually… let’s get rid of that whole word, repeat after me..

In business there are only two options, WINNING OR LEARNING.

Stop being afraid of failing, it’s not like it will actually hurt you in any way. As Tony Robbins once put it:

“A failing business is not the concluding chapter in our story; it is only the beginning.”

Tony Robbins

Marketing your company to success

One of the most powerful methods of preventing your company from going bust is marketing. Tons of amazing companies and products have gone out of business for the simple fact they got outsmarted by competitors that knew how to market their business better. It does not mean that they had better products or services, they simply got beaten by better marketers.

You did not really think Domino’s pizzas was actually the best pizza place right?

In order to properly market your business you need to know a couple things:

  1. What is your “Secret Sauce” (What added value does your company/product/service bring)
  2. How can I improve my customers’ lives?
  3. What does the marketplace need?
  4. Who is my customer?
  5. What can I do to make my offer irresistible?
  6. What business am I really in?

What business are you in?

In order to better explain what I mean with this, please refer to this video by the legendary Tony Robbins:

Remember that you are the only person in this world that can make this dream of your happen for you. Take massive action and don’t give up! It’s only takes a couple years of your “now” to live the ultimate dream you have envisioned later.

Thanks for checking out this post, I’d love to hear what you thought about it below in our comments section.

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Dennis de Graaf

Founder of GrowdZen, ex-cto/co-founder of multiple 7-figure SaaS companies, technology & marketing enthusiast