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8 Lessons for Business Survival

May 26th, 2017

A year ago, ActionCOACH Solent celebrated being in business for 10 years. This is no mean feat, given the statistics for business failures!  Although figures do vary, and businesses will disappear for reasons other than failure (e.g merger), the statistics for business closures make pretty grim reading. Within 3 years of being set up, more than 30% will have failed. By 5 years, the figure is 60%. And by year 10, it is estimated that as many as 90% of businesses will no longer be trading.

Interestingly, statistics show that by age, the proportion of businesses that fail is consistent at around 5% every 6 months e.g. 5% of 3 year old businesses will fail in the next 6 months, as will 5% of 9 year old businesses. So what does this mean? Well, it seems that in many cases, the experience of the business owner counts for little. Businesses are not learning how survive, let alone how to grow, prosper and thrive!

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The main reasons that businesses fail (and the lessons we need to learn from these failures) are:

  • Poor cash flow – not being able to pay your liabilities as they fall due is the number one reason that businesses fail. This is a particular issue in rapidly growing businesses. So the first lesson to learn is – keep a close eye on your cash flow and get the money in as quickly as possible from your debtors, because Cash is King!
  • No demand – people don’t want what you’re selling, are not prepared to pay for it, or to pay what you think it’s worth. This is particularly relevant where it’s something you’ve developed, e.g. software or apps. So the lesson here is – before you launch your product or service, make sure there’s a demand for it – do the market research!
  • Inadequate marketing – businesses that can’t attract paying customers in a cost effective way are not going to succeed, it’s as simple as that. Lesson number three is you need a great marketing plan, and don’t forget the mantra – Target, Offer, Copy!
  • An under performing team – in order to grow and sustain a successful business you need a great team around you. Lesson four is therefore to make your business a great place to work so you can recruit, motivate and retain great people!
  • No systems – without reliable systems in place, your business will be chaotic, your service delivery will be inconsistent, and you as a business owner will keep being drawn in to the day to day problems. So lesson number 5 is, for stability and growth, you must systemise your business processes.
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  • A lack of skills and no interest in learning – business owners are not born with the knowledge and skills to build a successful business, they need to learn them, but the “What can you teach me about my business?” attitude is very prevalent. It is not a weakness to admit that you don’t know everything and to ask for help. So lesson 6 is that, in order to succeed and grow, you have to be willing to learn and develop.
  • Failure to adapt to change – the only thing that is constant is change, and what has worked in the past for your business may not work today or tomorrow. This is true of products, marketing, customer service, sources of finance etc. If you don’t keep up, your competitors will. Lesson 7 therefore is keep an eye on what is happening in the market, take advantage of the opportunities and adapt accordingly, or pay the price.
  • No plan for success – many business owners just coast along with no clear idea of what they are doing and what they want to achieve, like a rudderless boat drifting on the tide, unable to avoid the rocks and with no destination in sight. So the final lesson is to work on your business – have a clear vision for the future, a plan of how to get there and goals along the way, review your plan regularly and revise as necessary, but always keep the end game in mind.

So now you know how, take ACTION to Thrive, not just Survive! I hope you find this useful and as ever, if we can help you with any of these challenges, please contact the office and arrange to come in for a complimentary business review with one of the coaches!

The Big Dipper – How to Survive the Rollercoaster Ride of Business Ownership

May 22nd, 2017

After years or research and many months of blood, sweat and tears, Kevin Stansfield of ActionCOACH Solent is pleased to announce that his new book “The Big Dipper – How to Survive the Rollercoaster Ride of Business Ownership” is being released on June 19th 2017.

The Big Dipper focuses on the 15 lessons that every successful business needs to learn, and the actions you have to take to master these lessons. It’s a must read for all business owners, and features a foreword by ActionCOACH founder, best selling author and serial entrepreneur Brad Sugars. Brad says, “The Big Dipper not only entertains as it educates, it inspires anyone who might be struggling in their entrepreneurial endeavours to take the right and necessary steps. ”

The book is available to pre-order now for just £14.99, and the first 100 people to to reserve a copy will be invited to to join us FREE OF CHARGE for the exclusive book launch event on 19th June at a venue near Southampton, Hampshire, where Kevin will host a Q&A session for attendees. There will also be a drinks reception and a buffet meal to enjoy, as well as networking opportunities.

To pre-order your copy of The Big Dipper, just use the link below:

Order my copy

Don’t miss out – pre-order your copy today for a chance to be at The Big Dipper book launch event!

Learn the Language of Business!

May 19th, 2017


If you’re a sports lover, you may be looking forward to a summer of watching, or taking part in, your favourite sports.  There are so many different types of sports, each with their own unique scoring systems, and clearly competitors need to understand the scoring system within their chosen sports to play effectively and improve their performance.  Continue reading “Learn the Language of Business!” »

How to Become a Skilful Networker!

May 11th, 2017

Of all the business growth strategies that I teach, networking probably has one of the biggest divisions in opinion as to whether it works or not. Many business owners get a large proportion of their business through their networks, others do lots of networking but don’t get much out of it, while others don’t do any networking at all because they don’t see the benefits of it, or feel uncomfortable ‘selling themselves’ in a group environment.
Continue reading “How to Become a Skilful Networker!” »

Are YOU Coachable?

May 4th, 2017

People who want to grow, learn, improve, excel or perform to the best of their ability will benefit from being coached, whether they be athletes, entrepreneurs, speakers, authors, employees, instructors or even coaches!  Coaching can help you transform, improve and excel, whatever that means for you, and anyone in any walk of life can benefit from the changes that coaching brings about. Continue reading “Are YOU Coachable?” »

ActionCOACH celebrates European Business Excellence

April 25th, 2017

Over 1000 business owners and coaches from all over Europe gathered in Harrogate in April  for the 2017 Business Excellence Forum and Awards.  Attendees enjoyed 2 days of world class speakers and a prestigious awards ceremony, where top level business performance was recognised and celebrated.

This year’s conference speakers were:

Professor Steve Peters, author of the best-selling personal development book, ‘The Chimp Paradox,’ a simple yet innovative method for understanding how the brain functions.  He has worked with Liverpool Football Club, England Football, Team GB Cycling, England Rugby and snooker star Ronnie O’Sullivan.  Visit Steve’s website

Baroness Michelle Mone, entrepreneur, mentor and adviser to the UK Government on start up businesses. In her 20 year career, she has gone from designing lingerie to becoming a global entrepreneur and public speaker.  Visit Michelle’s website

Richard Maloney, the pioneer behind the Engage & Grow programme, designed to activate employees and business teams to become fully engaged and more profitable.  He leads a team of employee engagement experts across 52 countries and is also personally associated with 8 elite sports teams throughout Australia.  Visit Richard’s website

Brad Sugars, founder and Chairman of ActionCOACH.  Recognised as the world’s number 1 business coach, he has a string of best selling business books to his name, and it is his mission to deliver education and training to as many people as possible, with the ultimate goal of a coach in every business.  Visit Brad’s Profitmasters website

Dr Marshall Goldsmith, a world authority in helping successful leaders get even better.  He was recently recognised as the world’s number 1 leadership thinker and the number 7 business thinker and is the million selling author/editor of 31 books and a the leading expert in his field.  Visit Marshall’s website

Matthew Syed, one of the world’s most influential thinkers on the science of high performance, having advised the likes of Google, Goldman Sachs, Arsenal FC and the Harvard School of Government. In addition, Matthew is a columnist for the Times, the author of two acclaimed books and won Gold at the 2002 Commonwealth Games for table tennis.  Visit Matthew’s website

Philip Hesketh, extremely entertaining professional speaker on The Psychology of Persuasion and Influence. He sold his own advertising agency after 16 years of consecutive growth, with the agency billing £48 million and employing 150 people.  Visit Philip’s website

To join us for the 2018 Business Excellence Forum in Liverpool, you can secure your tickets here: BOOK NOW


Relationship Marketing – the Ladder of Loyalty

April 25th, 2017

In this video, Kevin gives some ideas on how to develop customer loyalty, so that your customers stay with you long term and spend more money with you!

How to get 12 hours of work into 5 hours per day

April 22nd, 2017


Many business owners I meet have the same wish:

“ If only I had a few more hours each day to get things done!”

The reality is that there’s only ever going to be 24 hours in a day and frankly, if you are working for more than 50 hours per week, some part of your life is going to be suffering, whether it be your health, family, fitness or enjoyment.  Now, putting up with this for the first few years of your business is a must – nothing is built without some hard work to get it going.  However, if after year 3 there is not an improvement and you’re working long hours because you have to and not because you want to, then something is wrong. Continue reading “How to get 12 hours of work into 5 hours per day” »

How to Target your Marketing

April 18th, 2017


Within any business, marketing is one of the most important but least understood skills for a business owner to master.  Many businesses manage to grow without any knowledge of what their marketing really consists of, what aspects of what they do actually work and what alternatives they have to maintain that growth, even when the market place in which they are trading is flat or in decline. Continue reading “How to Target your Marketing” »

Customer Feedback – the Breakfast of Champions!

April 13th, 2017


The great thing about playing competitive sport at a high enough level is that you get instantaneous feedback from the crowd.  Do something good and you are rewarded with cheers and shouts of joy and excitement.  Do something bad, and the result will be just as quick, although not as enjoyable.  If only the results were so obvious in our business! Continue reading “Customer Feedback – the Breakfast of Champions!” »