It's no secret that small businesses fail at an alarming rate. I'll spare the questionable statistics -- Is it 4 percent success rate or 10? -- I'll simply say that most fail within five years. The rest fail in the subsequent five years and Verne Harnish, author of Scaling Up, observes that of the ones that do succeed, only 4 percent of small businesses in the United States even exceed $1 million dollars in revenue.
Those are some sobering statistics. No matter how you slice and dice it, entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart. Frankly, from my personal experience, it feels a lot like the self-development course you never knew you needed.
As a fourth generation entrepreneur, I dreamt of self-employed freedom for as long as I can remember. It was 2010 when I finally purchased my first business and have owned and been involved in a handful of start-ups since then; some successful, some not.
The freedom and opportunity to execute a clever business idea feels a lot like the American Dream to me. And it is for that reason and a few others that I'm passionate about, that I share with you a few tips for would-be entrepreneurs to create a successful small business even faster.
1. Buy Then Build
In the popular book of the same title, Buy Then Build, author Walker Deibel evangelizes the idea that you can flip small business failure statistics upside down when you buy an existing business and then build it even bigger instead of launching a start-up. To reiterate, business success is much more certain with a potentially greater ROI when you buy an existing business.
2. Hire a Bookkeeper
Tracking your business finances is more important than many small business owners realize and this is one of the first things that people try to skip or skimp on when first starting out. There's a long list of reasons that this should be one of your top priorities but I'll simply share one here. The saying goes, "what gets measured, gets done." This applies perfectly to business finances. If you're watching what is happening with a keen eye, you'll be more focused on moving the needle in a more profitable direction.
3. Work with an Accountability Partner
As a certified coach, I've spent many years working with business owners and entrepreneurs on their top challenges and dreams of a bigger future. The one thing that always seems to make the biggest impact in their progress is whether or not they're communicating their goals and visions to a caring colleague on a regular basis.
It seems so simple and yet, it is one of the most significant things you can do to reach your goals. Whether you hire a professional coach or enlist a trusted friend for a regular coffee date, connection with someone often to share your goals, vision, wins, and challenges.
And with that, my friend, I'll bring this plane in for a landing by saying I'd love to hear from you. What stage of business ownership are you in? Which of these topics resonated most for you? What, if anything would you add to this list?
Katie is coach, entrepreneur, and deal-maker that partners with business leaders in creative ways to maximize potential. She understand the complicated lives of entrepreneurs and believes the world would be a better place with even more successful small businesses. A fourth-generation entrepreneur, Katie purchased her first business in 2010 and has partnered with hundreds of business leaders to accomplish their goals, challenges, and visions for a bigger future. Katie is certified in Conversational Intelligence® — the neuroscience of leadership, and holds a B.A. in Business Management from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.