50% Chance Your (Business) Baby Will Survive

50% Chance Your (Business) Baby Will Survive

Yes – that is a terrible sentence to read or hear, but it is a prominent fact to consider when entrepreneurs look at the survival rate for their small business, which to many is “their baby.”

Statistics show that  20 percent of small businesses will fail in the first year, 30 percent  in the second year and only 50 percent will see their fifth year. Forbes also cites that only 50 percent of small businesses make it past year five and less than one third make it to year ten to tell their tale. 

 So,  with Venor just recently celebrating its eight year anniversary, this for me was a key reminder of how Venor is one of the successful ones. With consistent year over year growth, and now three locations, Venor has continued to serve its clients so they can be on the right side of this success rate. 

 Ian Sullivan, partner at Venor, discussed the early years of the company. “You definitely need resilience in your DNA. There were tough days for sure but we pushed through and lived our values. We believe in looking forward to Monday’s.”

 Quick Facts, Private Businesses:

  • 62% of billionaires are self made
  • There are 582 million entrepreneurs in the world
  • #1 reason why a business fails, there’s no market need
  • 60% of people who start a business are between 40 and 60 years of age

 Want to have a Higher Success Rate? Follow These Key Facts:

 1. It’s All About You

 As an entrepreneur, you’re betting on yourself. Your courage to even start a business and your ongoing resilience to handle storms will be key. 

 I always have tried to bet on the “jockey” and not the horse when it comes to businesses. Finding that driven individual who is self aware enough to know they have blind spots, they may not have all of the answers but they are going to find a way to make things work.

 You need to know your “why”, the reason you have taken this road, the reason you’re passionate about having a business baby. 

 Entrepreneurs are big GSD folks – they Get Shit Done!

“Done is better than perfect.”

― Sheryl Sandberg

2. The Dog Needs to Want the Dog Food 

 Let’s talk market needs – someone has to want your product or service if you’re going to strive for success. Your offering has to name a market and a differentiation so that someone feels the need to purchase it or hire you.

 If the dog will not eat your dog food – then we are in for a pretty long day selling this dog food!

 3. Sales and Marketing 

 You or someone on your team has to know how to sell. Cash is a great score keeper of winning and with a highly consistent cash flow you can bet you’re in the lead. 

 Good marketing can amplify your voice to generate sales – great marketing can not only generate sales but also give your company a brand identity, a social media presence that has become an invaluable source for potential consumers, as well as helps you maintain a top of mind presence among competitors.

 4. Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

 “My model for business is The Beatles. They were four guys who kept each other kind of negative tendencies in check. They balanced each other and the total was greater than the sum of the parts. That’s how I see business: great things in business are never done by one person, they’re done by a team of people.”

― Steve Jobs

Think of your company as a bus, with you steering it.  Who you choose to go on this journey with you will trump a majority of other business decisions. The right people can fix a bad bus, the wrong people will put a good bus in the ditch every time.

 This means your mentors and advisory board too. There is a huge difference I see first hand with entrepreneurs that have quality mentors and/or private boards. The seasoned leader has been on broken buses, trains, planes and have still turned those into successes, they can help you navigate throughout this journey. 

 The self aware entrepreneur knows what they are missing and their ego can handle strong team members on the bus! Talent wants to follow leaders who know their “why” and share in that passion to change the world. 

 “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the team to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.”

― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

 5. Focus and Measure

What you focus on is what gets done and life keeps score – so, let’s measure always. This is where cost control and keeping overhead down really matters. Know what your business fundamentals are in order to keep measure. 

 Ever go to a hockey game with no score board? What fun would that be. An entrepreneur needs their score board too.

 6. Innovate 

 Lifelong learning has always been a tell tale sign of the best. 

 It’s a self policing game where you evolve or die. Just because the business worked last week does not guarantee success next week. Stay on top of trends, market signs, move fast and act even quicker.

 “Entrepreneurship rests on a theory of economy and society. The theory sees change as normal and indeed as healthy. And it sees the major task in society – and especially in the economy – as doing something different rather than doing better what is already being done. That is basically what Say, two hundred years ago, meant when he coined the term entrepreneur. It was intended as a manifesto and as a declaration of dissent: the entrepreneur upsets and disorganized. As Joseph Schumpeter formulated it, his task is “creative destruction.”

― Peter F. Drucker

So, a very Happy Eighth Birthday to Venor and many many more to come. It is great to see “the baby” grow up. 

 To all the entrepreneurs out there reading this, a Happy Birthday to whatever your milestone is today! It is small and medium sized businesses like us that have built and continue to sustain Canada.

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