Ninety percent of all new businesses close within one year.
That was the message that Rudy Waldner gave to prospective business owners at a recent Business Solutions Series breakfast held at Kansas City Kansas Community College. Waldner said they fail because owners do not pay attention to the basics.
Waldner, who grew up in a family delicatessen business in New York City, has written a book “Marketing from the Trenches.”
The book stresses the “three p’s” that help make a business successful, They are people, place and partnership.
Waldner said it is important to determine who the best employees are. There are usually those who are very good and those who can be coached into being better employees. Those who cannot perform should be sent elsewhere, he said. Wages are not the most important thing an employee wants; an employee needs to know he or she is appreciated.
A place of business should be pleasing to the senses. It should look and feel and smell clean.
Partnerships also are important. He said a restaurant could offer free samples of food at a nearby non-food business.
Celeste Mikijanis, who with her family owns and operates the Wine Barn Winery and Vineyard in the Piper community, said it is important to wake up each morning and be enthused about what you are doing.
“You have to love what you do,” she said.
There are challenges that business owners must face and work through, she said, including zoning issues.
The Wine Barn has been in business for four years. In addition to growing grapes and bottling wine, the location is an entertainment venue.
Several years ago I read a report from the Small Business Administration that did an extensive study of more than 5,000 new businesses that had failed.
Several reasons were cited for failure—bad locations, health problems of the owners, marriage issues, poor products and sloppy accounting. However, those were not the main reasons for failure. The overwhelming reason was simply a lack of sales—failure to market the product or service.
Simply stated, nothing happens until there is a sale.
Murrel Bland is the former editor of the Wyandotte West and The Piper Press. He is the executive director of Business West.