Business is always a risk, investing money into a venture that is uncertain but in order to succeed it must be done. One of the best ways to ensure success is to learn from the mistakes of others, and with this in mind here are some key reasons businesses fail to succeed.

Research, research, research…

Research is key to success, with research comes knowledge and understanding that you would not have until thorough research or first-hand experienced has been achieved. Just as in most areas of business, there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to research, but here are a few areas that should be focused on.


Audience Importance

Whether it’s an existing or new business, research into your audience should be part of your ongoing strategy, with businesses spending six times as much to acquire new customers than retaining existing ones, this is according to the latest infographic from

Of course your approach to research may differ depending on the age of your business but it will always be a vital role as interests and trends change almost daily. With a change in mind-set comes a strategic window that may be identified by competitors first.

Competitor Research

Are they a competitor? If you have to ask yourself this question, then the likeliness is they will be a competitor in one way or another, whether indirect or direct monitoring their activity should be on your list.

The good news is competitor research has become much simpler in recent years with the introduction of social media and even search engines – if you see them moving up the rankings find out what they are doing!

Don’t get Complacent

It’s easy to feel secure in your market but with complacency comes lack of innovation. This isn’t just true for SME’s but all businesses take Nokia and Kodak as examples. The lesson here is stay on top of your game and makes research a main focus of your overall business plan.

Money, Money, Money…

Making a profit is probably the main aim for most businesses; no one wants to break even forever. Here are some steps to take to secure your business, money, and staff.


Many people think of insurance as securing the more physical elements in life such as a car, a home, or premises. But, all of these things cost money and insurance can provide a nice emergency fund if the worst happens. Insuring your business will protect your assets, staff and secure your family too.

Whilst be insured is a sensible thing to do be aware you are not over insured; if your turnover is £1,000,000 do you really need £10,000,000 policy? Remember to review your policy annually as times can change and so can profit.


Don’t be afraid to invest in new opportunities as they present themselves, just make sure the time is right. You must consider ROI, staffing, your current capital, your current positioning, and industry trends. However, you don’t want to over invest and find yourself with too many outgoings, which brings us to the next point – setting realistic goals.

Setting Goals

With unrealistic goals comes an acceptance of failure and a negative environment. The key is to set clear, achievable goals and communicate them with the whole company, rewarding and celebrating all targets met. Also, remember goals don’t always have to be money orientated;everything isn’t about the sales team.

Considering All Staff

Of course, a company’s overall aim is to make money but this can’t be done without your employees. In order to keep them happy in their job they must feel valued and secure and setting achievable goals for all is one way to do this, giving a reason to reward and celebrate their successes.

In most businesses, sales teams reap benefits from commission to freebies but what about the other teams; marketers, IT technicians, admin staff, cleaners etc.? In many businesses, these people can be taken for granted and the results are high staff turnaround, loss of money and a negative environment. Whereas when you set goals that can be achieved these teams can be made to feel just as valued as others, making the overall business one big happy team.

These are just some of the mistakes that can lead to an unsuccessful business just remember to do your research, invest money at the right time and set achievable goals.