It is a fact that “many businesses fail, but few succeed”. Entrepreneurs who lead businesses to success understand that it takes a carefully planned and executed strategy. The question comes, why Businesses fail. According to Dr. Graeme Edwards said “It’s not the plan that is important, it’s the planning”, that is important. If you are serious about making it as entrepreneurs, focus on – Make a plan and it should include Core values like integrity, trust, excellence, respect, responsibility, and teamwork, etc. Those that succeed are not the result of miracles, only a little luck helps.
The bitter truth, which we are experiencing is a transition phase and it is painful for the “well set”, who have never looked beyond traditional methods. It is a fact that the world is changing very fast and you know that in the coming years, the world will change completely and many of the industries running today will be shut down, due to changed situation.
Few examples – during 90’s, Kodak (world’s photo paper) used to sell 85% of the world’s photo paper. In few years, digital photography drove them out of the market. Kodak went bankrupt and all his employees were on the road. Similarly, HMT (watch), BAJAJ (Scooter), MURPHY (Radio), DYNORA (TV), NOKIA (Mobile), RAJDOOT (Bike), AMBASDOR (Car) and DINESH (cloth) met dead ends.
Now, a question comes – is the economy struggling, or the business models are changing, as many contrast things are happening.
Car sales are going down, but Ola / Uber are rising.
Restaurants are going empty, but home delivery is rising
Tuition classes are not getting students but online studying is rising
Traders are struggling but online market sites and reference based direct selling are breaking all records in sales.
Commission based businesses are striving, but online services, at low cost, are finding takers.
Cell phone bills have reduced & internet penetration is increasing.
Govt Jobs are dwindling but jobs with flexi work time are expanding.
Jobs seekers are reducing but job creators are on the rise.
It is now the Fourth Industrial Revolution and many surprises are in store. Uber is just a software. Despite not having a single car of his own, he is the largest taxi company in the world. Airbnb is the world’s largest hotel company, even though they do not have a hotel of their own. OYO rooms is another example.
During 90’s, every where there was “PCO”. Then when the mobile phone came, the PCO started to shut down, and they started selling the recharge coupon for the mobile. Nowadays, every third shop in the market, shops for mobile sales, service, recharge, accessories, repair, maintenance.
In the next 10 years, the cars will disappear and will be replaced by Electric Cars. Petrol consumption may decrease. You will get a car from a software like Uber and in a few moments a driverless car will be standing at your door. If you share it with someone, then that ride will be cheaper than your bike. Now people have started booking railway tickets from their phones too. Now money transactions are also changing. Currency Note was replaced by digital.
If you look back to the past few years, you can realize that the stiff competition had a dangerous effect. Jet Airways closed, Air India in terrible loss, airports sold to private companies, Tata Docomo vanished, Aircel perished, Bsnl is unable to pay salaries to its employees, Videocon has become bankrupt, HAL is sick, Postal department has shifted his business and doing banking, Banks are facing losses and are selling insurance products to cover up losses, Bank borrowers are missing from the country.
To add to the above situation, many Industrial houses have declaring themselves bankrupt. Few among them are – Reliance Com – 1 lakhs crores, Essar steel – 50000 crores, JP Infratech – real estate 10000 crores, ILFS – 99000 crores, Bhushan Steel – 47,000 crores, DHFL – 93,000 crores, so on.
Many entrepreneurs have failed in the past, and the sad truth is many more will fall short in the future. Business failure is indeed a reality. Some entrepreneurs are unaware of their mistakes. Wanting to own a business is one thing, maintaining and continuously adopting strategies to keep it from failing is a completely different story. Keeping a business and taking it to the top requires plenty of skills, research work, extensive experience, and expert professional know-how. Failure is a depressing thing, but knowing to learn from failure, helps you to strengthen your marketing strategies significantly.
An entrepreneur should observe the shortcomings and do regular internal and external analysis. Though no business is fault-proof, we can at least accept the mistakes and learn from them.
The slogan is, therefore, move with time and achieve success. Keep the eyes and ears open or else you will be left behind. It is “Time to Update & Upgrade” – Economy is not struggling, business is Changing and CHANGING CONSTANTLY.
(Mr. Gopabandhu Mohapatra is a former Govt. Banker and is currently living in Bhubaneswar. He contributes articles on the core subjects of banking and finance to www.odisha.plus on a regular basis.)