5 Ways to Fail in Small Business

by | Apr 18, 2022 | Business Building Musts, Small Business Help

Recently I was having a conversation with one of my online dearest business besties and we started to joke about the top three reasons why businesses fail.

It was a silly little conversation we were having that came from a comment I made.

You see, I cleaned up my desk and cupboards the other day and found my “to do list” from 2021.  It’s the list I divide things into urgent, semi-urgent, must do, nice to do, if I ever have time – that’s actually a category yes!

And I was telling Sarah that in my semi-urgent list was what I would qualify as a “money making activity” that clearly I hadn’t done!

Hence the joke, yep, let’s just post on social media and book things in rather than doing ACTUAL money-making activities – jokes on me!

So that set us into a conversation of all the things we do in business that, collectively and if we aren’t careful, will set us up to fail.

So as a lesson to myself and to you, I am going to list a few things we chatted about, just in case you need a nudge for doing them too!

  1. NOT doing your money-making activities FIRST!

Now, I have already admitted that I failed at this – it was on my list – but still didn’t get done for whatever reason.

Please don’t do this!  Please take a look at your to-do list and do your money-making activities FIRST!

I will if you will!!?!?

  1. We are reactive rather than proactive!

We react to situations inside our business, mostly because there’s no plan, rather than being proactive, goal orientated and focused on where we want to go.

So if you want to fail, stay reactive.  If you want to succeed, be proactive!


  • Set goals.
  • Review goals.
  • Be goal focused in your business.
  1. You’re always chasing BSOs – bright shiny objects!

Or as we say with my fav 19 year old son – chasing squirrels!

Some bright shiny objects are good to chase – some are just distractions dressed as opportunities.  You need the wisdom to know the difference and if you can’t tell the difference, you need to ensure you chase them to the end – not half hearted, not half done, but completely done – whether it works or not!

If you are always swapping and changing your business model, your products or your services, then (a) your customers are probably way confused and no idea what you are selling at any given point and (b) you will burn out long before anything can make you the money you deserve.

Only chase the BSOs that are worth it – some you just have to say “NO” too!

  1. You under value yourself, your products, or services.

This is a biggie.

Undervaluing what you bring to the table, what you can offer your customers or clients is a massive hurdle. I know so many small business owners (and maybe you) struggle with.

You have to charge what you are worth.  I’ll repeat that – you HAVE to charge what you are worth.

You are NOT for everyone, and therefore your price point is NOT for everyone.

You will attract the right customers if you charge what you are worth.  Charge to little and you will fill your business with customers you would rather give to the opposition!

Charge what you are worth!

  1. You can ensure failure of your business is to fail to launch at all!

Be so caught up in needing things to be perfect, needing ALL your ducks in a row, needing everything and everybody to be lined up, sorted, procedures done, process perfect that you never manage to launch your business.

Perfection is a trap and it’s one that cripples so many small business owners who don’t value themselves and/or their products enough to get them to market.

They are too concerned about what people will think, that no one will buy their product, that it’s not “ready”.

You know my advice don’t you!  If you’ve listened to my podcast for any length of time, you know what I am about to say:


It’s what my mentor always taught me and it’s the wisdom I am passing on because it’s served me SO well in business.

  • Get ready.
  • Fire before you are have it all sorted
  • Aim (sort it out) as you go along – tweaking, perfecting and changing as your customers and prospects give you feedback – positive and constructive!


I know you know this stuff.  You’re amazing but sometimes, like me, you need a nudge to say “hey are you self-sabotaging your business by doing xxxx (insert which one applied to you – mine is clearly money-making activities!).

I hope these gentle reminders have been useful.  Maybe this blog is one you would like to pass onto another small business owner to ensure they aren’t doing any of these as well.  It would mean the world to me if you would share this post on your socials!

I would also love to continue the chat in my Like Minded Business Owners Facebook group – you can join on Facebook if you haven’t already!

Oh and talking about my Like Minded Business Owners Facebook group – I have some amazing guests coming in there to do lives with me this year.  I am super excited by this.  From finance experts to PR and marketing experts (besides me) to Law experts – they are all coming on to give you their time and do some Q&As with the group.

Another amazing reason to come and join that community!


I would love to work with you to audit your business marketing and goals to make sure you aren’t accidentally sabotaging your chances of success.  Book a discovery call here!

Also, extra reminder – go and join my Like Minded Business Owners Facebook group! It’s one of my favourite things about my business, sharing experiences and expertise with other small business owners. It’s such a supportive community, who totally GET what it’s like running a small business.

Or you can DM me on Instagram or send me an email jenn@jenndonovan.com.au

I wish to acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land, the Yorta Yorta People, on which I conduct my business today and pay my respects to their Elders past and present. I extend that respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples reading this blog post today.

About the Author:

Jenn Donovan of Social Media & Marketing Australia.  Jenn’s a coach and mentor from rural NSW and is all about empowering business owners to earn what they’re worth so they can make a bigger difference in the world.  The Founder of Buy From a Bush Business, Co-Founder of Spend With Us – Buy From a Bush Business Marketplace and host of the very popular podcast Small Business Made Simple, Jenn is all about community and humans interacting with humans!  H2H Marketing – human to human marketing. Jenn talks the talk but importantly walks the walk! Jenn’s online community is over 320,000 with her famous Facebook Group currently at almost 351,000 members and still growing every day.  She’s the major of her own little online city!

Get in touch – www.socialmediaandmarketing.com.au

On Instagram – @jenndonovan_

On Facebook – Jenn Donovan

Or on LinkedIn as Jenn Donovan


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Brilliant – it’s on its way – thanks!


Brilliant – it’s on its way – thanks!


Brilliant – it’s on its way – thanks!


Brilliant – it’s on its way – thanks!

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