Investing in dumb luck

This should rather be called gambling right? No wait. It is more like buying a lottery ticket.

Yes, people purchase lottery tickets with the small hope of making big money by giving very little. Nothing wrong with that; if you win you win big and if you lose you lose very little. It makes perfect sense.

But what would you call a business owner who buys a lottery ticket with everything he has got? His money, his time, his family, his experience, his pride, his everything.

You would call him stupid.  But business owners don’t generally come under the stupid category.

They could however be a little naïve and lacking in foresight. It is not unusual to see businesses spring up and go down under a year. It happens a lot. Often you can tell what led to it. It seems obvious that you wonder how they could have missed it. Well, the closing down is the sum of all problems. Problems which could have been averted had they invested more thought in the business idea.

Here are a few things that failed businesses have in common

Little or no research
Research is a broad term. It can apply to just about everything- markets, branding and even location. The majority of businesses that close within a year are less likely to have done basic homework in key areas such as competitors and target audience.
A grocery store a couple of blocks away from a supermarket chain is not likely to stay in business for too long. The same fate is shared by a women’s boutique in a small town area.

Poor management
One bad Manager has the possibility of making 10 good employees quit together, leaving the business owner in a world of pain. This simple problem could have been averted had hiring been treated more seriously. Hiring your uncle to be manager or giving your friend’s wife chief responsibility has great chance of bringing down the business if not treated carefully.

Less importance given to customer service
In today’s world, poor customer service can be the sole cause for a business going under. Think about how pampered we are with all the discounts, freebies, toll free numbers, advance booking and everything. We are more than assured that ‘we customers’ are the center of attention with these companies that serve us. When such is the case poor service is inexcusable.

Lacking in foresight and failure to adapt
The sad fact remains that the majority of business owners are in their roles today only because they had the resources; right place, right time. Not only is there no forethought on where the business would be in 5 years; it is followed by lethargy and failure to adapt with the trends.  This includes businesses that refuse online payments and those that demand you to pay in cash all the time.

The conclusion is that businesses that are started with very little thought are betting on their luck to succeed. Having the resources alone is not enough to guarantee long term success.  Simply put, businesses of this kind are merely investing in dumb luck.
Now think if it is worth the gamble and all the pressure that comes with running a business.

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Ganesh

Ganesh is the Founder Director of Handdy.com. His extensive accounting and tech background has enabled him to contribute significantly to the creation of these small business accounting software. In building up Handdy Apps, he has learned many a lesson that he is sharing in this blog. This will be helpful for any business executive.

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