It is common knowledge that the long term prospects for small businesses are very low. In Miami, it has proven particularly difficult for small businesses to succeed long term, with the five-year failure rate ranging from eighty-five percent to an astounding ninety-eight percent. Despite the solid economic recovery following the Great Recession, these numbers have not improved.
An article on the Miami branch of Patch Media has detailed the advice of long-standing business expert Glen Wakeman on how small businesses can survive long term, even in an area as seemingly hostile as Miami.
First, the article suggests that certain elements such as undercapitalization – the lack of adequate funds needed to sustain a business venture – and fiscal mismanagement – the misuse of funds on hand, regardless of whether or not they are adequate – are blamed for the failures of businesses disproportionately to how much effect they actually have. In reality, according to the article, proper acquisition and use of funds does not guarantee success, as failure tends to usually be connected to issues surrounding sales rather than issues surrounding funding.
The article points out that most successful businesses inadvertently utilize useful sales techniques as simple as leaving signs on their door or offering free products and services to attract customers.
Glen Wakeman suggests a three-step plan to persevere in even the most difficult of markets. First, he suggests a focus on the perks and benefits of a service or products when soliciting customers, as opposed to a focus on its features and capabilities. An example would be to suggest that a running shoe provides cushioning and minimizes pain, as opposed to simply touting that it comes with a memory foam sole.
Second, Wakeman encourages searching for evidence that contradicts already held beliefs, so as to not launch a business with ideas that will prove themselves wrong and lead to the demise of the business.
Finally, Wakeman suggests the building of a dispassionate support system of people not emotionally attached to the business, who are capable of dispensing advice and providing feedback and criticism without any qualms.