By: Leigh Felton
Hopefully, you’re getting lots of great advice on how to put the right thought processes into your new business. There is so much you have to do to get a new business successful and get it off the ground, it can feel a bit overwhelming.
Believe it or not, there’s actually very little you have to do to fail at a new startup. Trust me, I know. Between my husband and I, we have collectively and individually started up and failed at about 11 new business adventures. I’ve started and stopped eight of these on my own, including self-publishing two books and becoming a spokesperson after I participated in a successful TV show. And regardless of what I started or tried to do, I just couldn’t get any of these – I mean just awesome, terrific ideas – launched into society. But why?
That’s why I’m here today, to hopefully give you some insights into why new startup businesses fail.
Let’s start with a few stats. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 20% of small businesses fail in their first year and about 50% of small businesses fail in their fifth year. So, let me share with you the mistakes I’ve made as a would-be serial entrepreneur.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’ve tried to start so many businesses because, in my heart of hearts, I am an entrepreneur who enjoys creating an idea and then working through all the little details to turn that idea into something tangible, meaningful, and ultimately, something people will want to purchase.
However, I have been far more successful in corporate America, and even in public service, than any of the businesses I’ve tried to start. As some of you may know, I am a former Assistant Director of the Business Services Division for the Washington State Department of Commerce. My time in Commerce spanned from 2011 to 2013. During that time, I had the great fortune to take my skills from my many years of working in corporate America, combined with my enthusiasm for entrepreneur success, and use them to support economic development and growth throughout the state.