Why Your Business Flopped In 2018 (And What To Do About It In 2019)

As we close out another year, it can be a good time to reflect on how your business performed. I think we can all agree we want more: more business, more sales, more new clients, just MORE. While I could tell you some new lead gen strategies, or what hashtags you may want to use on your next Instagram post, I think I have something that is a little more valuable to offer.

Why your business failed this year

Why your business did not do well
Ooooo a mirror – it’s a metaphor

This is going to hurt, but stay with me. The reason that your business failed or did not perform as well, is because of you.

Now, if you could stop flipping me the bird and throwing your phone, we can get down to business.

At the end of the day, YOU are where the buck stops. YOU are the one calling the shots as owner and CEO. If things did not go as planned, we need to look at our actions to see where we f*cked up.

Let’s look at the top three reasons you may have hurt your business.

1. You had “shiny object” syndrome

shiny object syndrome
See how shiny this is – very distracting

What this means is that you were overwhelmed by all the options. This could lead to not starting a project or not finishing it because you are jumping from one tactic to the next. There were a lot of digital marketing trends in 2018, so it is not surprising we get lost or go on a wild goose chase.

How to fix it:

  • Make a strategy – what are you trying to do and why
  • Figure out what types of campaigns you need – how will you act on the strategy
  • Adapt the strategy and campaign/tactic as necessary – being agile is important

Here is what one of my coaching clients said about strategy:

I had no idea where to start when it came to digital marketing. The number of options that are out there made me shut down. Ryan helped me make a strategy and stick to it. Because he would not let me change course to something else, I saw results. I think it is easy to hop from one thing to the next, because it makes you feel like there is progress; when you are actually spinning your wheels.

Anna W.

2. You were not “thinking like an owner”

think like an owner
Hustle like your business depends on it – because it does

This plays into #1 and is no less true. Anything that you do: strategy, sales calls, execution, reading or beyond; you need to think like an owner. What this means is always asking “why”.

  • Why am I doing this
  • Why is this the time to do it
  • Why am I taking so long on this
  • Why am I avoiding this
  • Why is this not selling
  • Why have we not found our audience

The whys matter and the more you think about them, the more success you will find. Gone are the days where you can execute a tactic or a campaign and then get results. Optimizations matter, thinking about your audience matters, adding value matters and most of all you matter.

Being willing to grapple with your why pays big dividends in the long run. Don’t take my word for it, read the book.

3. You are desperate for money

don't start a business with no money
That’s right – monayyyy

This is a mistake that I made early in my business. Digi Nomad started as a side hustle and part of that was to give myself more financial freedom. The big mistake I made was thinking that having a business would mean more liquid capital for myself. Wrong.

Businesses are an investment and that means you have to give them time (and hard work) to start to see returns. If you are going into any campaign or business with the mindset of “I want to make as much money as quickly as possible” you are setting yourself up to fail.

Consumers are smart, they know when they are being played and when you are trying to force a sale.

What you should be focused on is adding value. You can have the greatest product in the world, but if you are not positioning it in a way that fulfills a consumers need, you will fail.

Even ski resorts need snow.

In conclusion…

Your audience and consumers should not have to pay for your failings. Show up, do better and give them what they need.

It is okay to fail, and honestly, you should be failing every day. It means you are growing. All I am saying is show up for the people you are trying to support and make their lives easier.

Consumer love to consume, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have standards.

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