Glen Wakeman Teaches Key Components of Improving a Business

While starting your own business can be an exciting time for any entrepreneur, it can also mark the beginning of a journey that can often become fraught with difficulty. Though we all do our best to succeed, the sobering reality is that most businesses fail, and this is fact is even more pronounced in Miami where experts estimate that between eighty-five and ninety-eight percent of businesses end in failure. Though this prospect may seem scary, it is also important to come to terms with it in order to continue to work towards success should your business take a downturn. In aid of this, business professional Glen Wakeman has some learnings he’s gathered from decades of experience that can be of use to any small business owner.

Professional History

Before diving into the why or how of business failure, let’s first take a look at Glen Wakeman and from where he finds his expertise. Glen now runs the startup Launchpad Holdings which focuses on providing business planning services to early-stage entrepreneurs through a variety of software offerings. In that capacity, he works to prepare business plans for funding opportunities and set entrepreneurs up for the highest chance at success by questioning every part of their business model.

Why Businesses Fail

There is a prevailing belief that businesses fail due to a money problem. Sometimes this can take the form of undercapitalization or other times it can take the form of poor fiscal management. Though this can be a tempting scapegoat, the point of business is to make money after all, it is more often than not a false lead. A closer look into research of small business success has shown that many businesses that fail when they run out of money would have failed even if they had much more money in the bank. Furthermore, there are plenty of examples of businesses that have impeccable fiscal management and still fail regardless. In the majority of these cases, money is not the problem. Instead, the problem lies within the business plan itself, or at least the execution of the plan.

The most common way this problem manifests is in sales. It could be said that there is no more important an aspect of a business plan than its ability to sell its proposed product or services to potential customers. A product could cure every malady or inconvenience in the world and would net no return without a sales effort that promoted its benefits to those in a position to buy it. And therein lies the key to why many businesses fail.

It is a far too common practice for a business to start off strong with a sales effort at the beginning of its existence only to relent soon after. Perhaps they’re actively courting customers through advertisements or grassroots efforts, or maybe their location is adorned with the products one can find inside. Once sales efforts drop off, however, the business is in a perilous state. If the existing customer base stops buying at the same rate, the business may find that their income stream has dried up, putting them at risk of financial ruin.

Learnings from Experience

The above example is a story that Glen Wakeman has seen often. Whether from his own work in building up large organizations, or just from his efforts as a consultant advising new businesses on how to comport themselves, he has seen these mistakes made time and again. In fact, the perils that can work against a fledgling business are so common that it caused him to actually work on a list of five points to consider when a business is taking a turn for the worst. These five points can help anyone right the ship if they are followed with care and an appreciation for how they can be utilized in one’s own situation.

Five Steps Explained

The first thing to understand about changing a business is that change is top down, therefore the leadership at a company must be on board. In the case of a small business that may mean just the owner, or it may include managers as well. No matter the specifics, enlist all persons in leadership roles into the effort to change to increase the chances of success.

The second key component of this plan is its emphasis on communication. Change is difficult no matter what the circumstances, but especially if it carries the added stress of being necessary to stave off failure. Communicate plans clearly to all involved with the business to avoid confusion.

Another part of this methodology is a willingness to find new ways to execute a business plan. Though the core concept may be solid, it may need to be brought into practice in a new manner. Utilizing outside the box thinking here can be a boon towards taking steps forward.

It’s also important to recognize that there is an inherent resistance to change in any organization. Don’t try to fight this resistance or you may run into a brick wall. Instead, work with all those involved to understand their hesitancy and work to enlist them in the cause of change as a proponent rather than an obstacle.

Finally, once change has been implemented, recognize that there will be an internal transition period before the benefits can be seen. If the change is built on solid business fundamentals and a clear idea of the way forward, this is not a time to panic. Instead, allow the necessary time for the benefits of the change to become clear and you will reap the rewards of your hard work.

Small business ownership can be a scary proposition. Many feel that even though success can be incredibly rewarding, failure is a daunting figure waiting at every turn. However, if you have a solid grasp of the ways in which a failing business plan can be improved upon, then failure need not be something to fear. The above teachings from Glen Wakeman are an invaluable tool for any business owner looking to take control of their business’s future. Use them to improve your own chances now and moving forward.

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