Commonly, when you see or read an interview from a start-up entrepreneur, they talk about the long hours that they worked to get to where they are. Those are the success stories that we hear about, but what about the others?
According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), a department of the US federal government, ½ of new businesses survive the first 5 years and only 33% of new businesses survive for 10 years. The main reasons for failure, given by the Small Business Administration, are: leadership failure, lack of uniqueness or value, not in touch with consumer needs, unprofitable business model, poor financial management, and rapid growth and over-expansion.
My company allows me to work with business owners on a daily basis, and I see many of them working 70-90 hours per week. One of the greatest difficulties I have working with entrepreneurs is having them understand that they need to maintain a balance of keeping things progressing while not overworking themselves.
I don’t have a crystal ball which can tell me about the future, but the top 6 reasons for business failure, according to SBA, are not the reasons why I see my entrepreneurs not succeeding. If anything at all, their biggest risk is themselves and burning themselves out. In many cases, the business owner is the business, which is why they work so many hours. But if they don’t take a break away from their business, relax, and recharge their batteries, they will wear themselves down.
Yes, we hear the success story that came from working 90 hour work weeks, but were they working smart? Were they productive? If you don’t take care of yourself, and you are the one that takes care of your business, who will take care of your business when you are out of commission? Are some of the top 6 reasons of failure due to the fact that the owner is not in the proper shape to make a decision? Take care of yourself, and it will take care of business!
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Have an awesome week.
Photo Source: DieselDemon from Flickr Common Creative
Kevin MacDonald is a Business Consultant at L6S Business Consulting Inc (www.L6SBC.ca). L6S offers services in management consulting, Controller and CFO contracting, and lean management with either project work or teaching/mentoring of staff. Kevin has his CMA accounting designation along with a Black Belt in Lean Six Sigma.
Kevin is active in the community by volunteering for different groups and donates platelets at the Canadian Blood Services clinic on a bi-weekly basis.