That failure rate, in some countries, can reach as much as 85-90%. Setting up a small business is actually one of the most difficult things you can ever do. And to make matters worse, the vast majority do it for the wrong reason.
I have started a number of small businesses over the last 10 years and every single one of them has been started from scratch and went on to grow into a thriving business. Just recently I have decided to sell one of the businesses off because it had done what I expected it to do.
This might seem a strange thing to do but actually it is the first issue you need to think about when starting a small business.
Believe it or not, most of the people who actually set up a small business do so for the wrong reasons. I’ve also done the same. What do I mean by the wrong reason? Most people start a small business because they believe they can do a better job then their current boss. Perhaps there is an element of truth in this. However, most small business owners really want improved employment conditions with an increased income. To be fair, there isn’t anyone who can really blame you for desiring that. However, if this sounds like you then I would advise you NOT to get involved with your own small business.
One of the major things you must give some thought to up-front before getting started with your small business is the image you want it to present to others. How do you want your customers and clients to see your business? What is your personal vision of success? Where do you want to go with the business?
The second thing is this. How will you know when the business is “done” i.e. when it is finished? How will you know when you have finished creating what you wanted to create? And even more importantly, how will you then get out of the business?
The thing is, you see, most men and women when they go into business have no idea of an exit strategy. This is really bad. Before you ever start a business, the first thing you must work out is how you are going to get out of the business.
For example, I started a small car cleaning business a couple of years ago. My wife was the main driving force behind the idea because she wanted to see if she could build a business from nothing. We planned to part with the business once it was all set up and making money. But the question remained of how were we going to sell it?
The truth of the situation is that we could indeed have taken many different approaches with eventually selling the business. We could have franchised it, sold it off to another small business entrepreneur or even let it float on the stock market.
We originally decided our aim was to sell it off to another small business owner. But, even with that in mind, we still set it up so that it could still grow and provide more opportunities for the new owner. In essence, we had removed the risky bits for them on how to operate the business by clearly spelling out and documenting everything they needed to know in order to run the small business successfully.
Such an approach worked for us. It could for you too.