8 out of 10 businesses fail – are you going to be one of the two?

by: April 8, 2015

8 out of 10 businesses fail

Or perhaps it doesn’t matter. If you want regular hours, regular income, perceived lower risk/higher job security, then stay in employment. 

But the stats are scary. Depending what you read and where you source the stats, somewhere in the region of 50% of all businesses fail within 5 years, and between 7 and 9 in every 10 don’t get to their 10th anniversary.  (See http://www.financialpreneur.com/?p=41 for more detail).

With risk comes the risk of failure. The key is to mitigate that risk. And what’s the most significant risk factor?  YOU.

Ask an Angel

Ask any business angel or private equity firm, or watch a couple of episodes of Dragons Den. Do they invest because the idea is brilliant?  Do they not invest because it’s naff? Well partly. But the most important element in their decision is their confidence in the founder and/or management team.

With great business skills and management, an average idea has got a good chance of being highly successful. Whereas even the most earth-shattering product, in an enterprise led by someone with poor vision and weak execution ability, is likely to fail.

What Can You Do About It?

So it’s all down to you. When you’re highly successful, you’ll be able to modestly say you were lucky. Even if you don’t say that, you can be sure everyone else will. 

Up for it? See how many of the following boxes you tick. Do you have:


☐  Strong emotional resilience

☐  A thorough understanding of business finances

☐  Enormous self-motivation, positivity, energy and enthusiasm, plus the ability to cope with adversity

☐  Self-awareness together with a thirst for self-improvement, knowledge and learning (particularly including soft skills)

☐  Ability to sell effectively and to build long term, mutually beneficial relationships with customers

☐  Capacity for work – lots of it – more than you can ever imagine – both the exciting and interesting as well as the routine and mundane

☐  Ability to stand back and see the big picture, to visualise realistic success, and to roll up your sleeves and do whatever it takes

☐  Strong interpersonal skills, judgement and communication skills

☐  A willingness and openness to listen to, and take on board, great advice, and to seek help when it’s needed


Tick all these boxes and you’re well on your way to being one of the 2 out of 10.  Now all you need is the great idea.

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About Author

Paul is Zonata's founder and MD. He has a true passion for business and is massively excited by the opportunities that Zonata provides for its clients and partners. He loves helping owner-managed businesses be exceptionally successful, and enjoys the phenomenal quality of the people who work with him.

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