One of the most surprising things about entrepreneurship is that anyone wants to be an entrepreneur in the first place. While it might sound fun, the reality is, starting a business and being a successful entrepreneur is hard — very hard. In fact, some statistics show that 80 percent of businesses started by entrepreneurs fail within two years. Yes, you read that right – 80 percent!
So, why is it that so many people ignore the stats and choose to become entrepreneurs anyway?
Well, simply put, that’s just it — the stats. You see, it’s often the unlikelihood of success that actually pushes the hopeful, idea-charged people to dive into the entrepreneur-world. Once armored with a dream and a passion to pursue it, they are only further motivated and driven by the challenges they’re told they may face, and the chance to be one of a select few that make it big.
And in the end, the only thing greater than the challenge entrepreneurs face is the tremendous feeling that comes with success once they achieve it. It’s been said that there is no greater success in the world, than the success of an entrepreneur!
So, what about you? Can you relate to the above? Are you a self-starter or a business owner who is trying to make it big? If so, we wrote this post for you. Knowing that, statistically, the odds are stacked against small business owners, we decided to do some digging and determine and discuss what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the unsuccessful ones…in hopes of ensuring that you end up in the latter of those two groups.
But first, it should go without saying that at the end of the day, it’s the inner characteristics of the entrepreneur that is paramount to all. And it’s also proven, though not technically statistically, that anyone can accomplish anything they put their mind to. So always keep that in mind.
So with that, here are six of the most common reasons why entrepreneurs fail:
Fear is an incredibly powerful emotion that is helpful in many situations, except when that fear prevents you from achieving success.
For example, you may dislike cold-calling. But is the real reason that you dislike it because you are afraid that the person on the other end of the phone will say no? You might find product pitches uncomfortable, but perhaps you’re more likely afraid that the person on the other side of the pitch won’t like or respect you.
Successful entrepreneurs are able to overcome fears that hold them back, while harnessing fears that help to push them forward.
Our quick tip: As soon as you sense an element of fear within, don’t run from it. Instead, run toward it, analyze it, understand it, and face it. Only then, can you overcome it.
- Not Able to Delegate
If you think that the only way to do something is to do it yourself, the truth is, you’re holding yourself back. In order to be successful, you have to let go, delegate, bring in expertise, and trust other people to help accomplish your goals. Two minds are always better than one…so just think about what a team of minds can be. So find the best salespeople, programmers, or managers, and get them on board with your dream, even if they become the top earners in your venture. In the long run, you will reap the rewards.
Our quick tip: One of the best things you can do in the early stages of a business is to pay your employees more than you.
- Giving Up
If you ask successful entrepreneurs at what stage of their business they knew it would be a success, many will explain that it was right around the time that they almost gave up or ran out of money. And sometimes, the difference between those that make it and those that don’t doesn’t just mean knowing when to drop a business without potential … it means having the follow through to persist with those that do, even when the going gets tough.
Our quick tip: As soon as you think it’s time to give up, take the time to write a list of pros and cons associated with the decision…and be sure to remember why you started the journey in the first place.
- Not Learning
Successful entrepreneurs constantly seek to improve their knowledge, skills, and abilities, both in their business and personal lives. They see this as an investment in their future, and are able to call on those skills to help evolve their business. As soon as you stop learning, you stop growing. And great businesses never stop growing.
Our quick tip: Make it a goal to learn one new thing per year that is relevant to your work. Whether you attend a conference, read a book, or take an online tutorial, expand on your skills and knowledge and then apply it to your business.
- Being Unproductive
The pressure on our time in the modern world is enormous. With smartphones and tablets and constant connectivity, it’s almost impossible to avoid spending time doing things that we think are important but that are actually a wasteful, ineffective use of our minds. And unfortunately, these distractions lead to neglecting the important tasks — the things that will lead to growth and progress. Stop checking emails constantly or overdoing social media. Additionally, be intentional about reducing the time you spend on meetings, customers, products, or initiatives that are time-consuming but not profitable.
Our quick tip: Begin each day by mapping out your schedule hour-by-hour, even knowing that things can change at the drop of the hat. This will keep you accountable in the ways that you spend each time.
- Lack Of Focus
Many entrepreneurs that end up being unsuccessful, are good at starting businesses, but not quite sticking with them. Instead, due to the growing challenges and complications of an older company, they run out of steam, lose interest, or get antsy and move on to something else. So stay focused…even when the going gets tough. Successful businesses need those at the top to stick with them, and remain focussed. Plus, your dream deserves it.
Our quick tip: Try putting random and intermittent reminders in your phone or on your calendar that keep your mind on track. You’ll be surprised at how they tend to pop-up at just the right time.
There you have it. If you’re a small business owner yearning to make your dream a reality and your company a success, keep these 6 risks in mind as they can lead to failure. And be confident! Because when you know the things that might increase the risk of failure, you can take action to make positive change.
Best wishes to you and your successful small business. We have no doubt you’ll land in the 20% of entrepreneurs who make it big!