What Does It Take to Succeed in Business?

Every business owner works hard. Not every business owner succeeds.

The Small Business Association (SBA) statistics state, “50% of small businesses will fail in the first 5 years”. By year 10, 66% are gone.Other sources tell us that 80% of businesses will fail in the first 5 years and 80% of those that make it will be gone by year 10. That is a less than 4-33% survival rate at the 10-year mark. Why so low?

Why do so many entrepreneurs with big dreams give up on them a few years later? And of those who do survive, how many are thriving at year 10?

The percentage of businesses that reach the million-dollar revenue level is 10% or less. In women owned businesses that percentage is 4% who become million-dollar businesses. At a time when more than 30% of all businesses in the United States are owned by women, those businesses account for only 12% of revenues. While these numbers are improving slightly each year, what is it that makes small business success so difficult?

With 30 years of experience as an entrepreneur, and 10 years working with business owners, I have worked with thousands of entrepreneurs. Many are the 80% who close their business, in fact I have been the 80%. I have also been in the 4% that make it beyond the 10 years, and so are some of my clients. What I have found is that there are common characteristics among those who thrive.

14 Key Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs

  1. A no-regrets attitude. Do everything that can be done, until they succeed or they determine a different path
  2. Complete understanding of their numbers and how to use them
  3. The ability to separate themselves from their business
  4. Clarity of their business: Product / Culture / Values
  5. A 3-year strategy
  6. A long-term vision/purpose, with flexibility in how that is achieved
  7. High expectations for themselves, their product and their team
  8. An effective marketing plan.
  9. Plan for team growth: Hiring / Training / Accountability
  10. The willingness and ability to lead
  11. Realistic view of where they are at any point in the business
  12. Awareness of their own weaknesses
  13. A contingency plan for their business, clients, family
  14. Someone to be accountable to.

That is a lot of things, watch this space over the next few weeks to learn more about each of these characteristics and how you can increase them for yourself.
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