Anyone can start a business; that is the easy part. The problem is that not many people are prepared to absorb a significant loss and continue on their entrepreneurial journey. If most aspiring entrepreneurs knew what they were risking and accepted the impact that loss would have on their lives, I often wonder whether they would be willing to dive in quickly. Probably not, as this might contradict the very spirit of entrepreneurism that many believe is about taking risks.
It is no secret why businesses fail—Google it. At least fifty reasons explain why many companies do not make it past the fifth year, with the top ones being poor management, an unprofitable business model, and insufficient capital. Yet it has become a common occurrence to see new businesses pop up, and within months of opening, disappear like a magic trick; others may last a few years if they are lucky. Still, not much has changed in the last decade; half of the new business exit the market much too soon.
If you accept Miriam-Webster’s definition that an entrepreneuris “a person who starts a business and is willing to risk loss to make money,” you might be as confused as the millions of people all over the world as to whether anyone can become an entrepreneur. Many people seem to focus only on the first part of the description that begins with “a person who starts a business…”
In my book, The Price of Fake Is Real – How To Stop Pretending & Gain Real Business Success, I shared my belief that many businesses fail because there is confusion in the minds of owners as to what the most important things are in their business. Like me, you have probably heard that if owners do the most important things, the money will follow. While this might be true in many cases, if they do not know what the most important things are at every stage of your business, they will not know what to do.
If you were to ask the owners of failed businesses what caused their demise, many would cite a bunch of reasons—most, if not all, outside of their control. This is a telltale sign that if business owners knew what they were doing wrong, they might have been able to fix the problem and save their businesses. Hence, the confusion.
The truth is that most entrepreneurs are not equipped to run a successful business on their own. Yet many choose to go at it alone rather than hire an expert to guide them, such as a business consultant, coach, or mentor. They believe that if they work as hard as possible and do a good job, their business will be successful. Small business owners are some of the hardest working people, which is one of the reasons that they are confused when their companies do not make it.
If you are an entrepreneur, your smartest choice should always be to do what is required to achieve real business success. First, you must understand what that is, even if it means swallowing your pride and asking for help. The right guidance and support will enable you to experience the business success that you desire.
Donna McPherson, CPA
PROFIT STRATEGIST, SPEAKER & AUTHOR