Resilience Is A Must On An Entrepreneurial Journey
If I could name one defining characteristic needed to survive the entrepreneurial journey, it would be resilience. Just the other day, I was reading a Facebook post that presented some interesting facts about businesses- how most of them do not succeed.
According to Bizmag.Co.Za, on average, about 50% of start-up businesses in South Africa fail within 2 years. In the US, according to Forbes.Com, 7 out of 10 new employer firms survive at least 2 years, half at least 5 years, a third at least 10 years and a quarter stay in business 15 years or more. Wherever you are, the reasons for this high failure rate is a lack of ability and inexperience.
What It Takes To Be An Entrepreneur
Running a business brings together a wide range of skill sets which have to be coordinated harmoniously in order for the entrepreneur to realise success. The ability to organise resources at your disposal is a key skill that every entrepreneur should have and develop. It is the ability to organise resources, that others take for granted, in a meaningful way that differentiates the entrepreneur from other people.
When it comes down to it, knowing how to deal with and manage people is a critical skill essential for any successful entrepreneur. The majority of business is about building relationships. It is about building relationships with clients, partners, suppliers, employees or benefactors. Every aspect of these interactions with people need to be carefully managed in order for a business to succeed.
An entrepreneur is the creative force behind the business. A successful entrepreneur has to think beyond the ordinary and be able to see potential that exists within creative ideas and find ways to realise that potential. Generating great ideas is as important as having the courage to see them through.
Reasons Why Most Businesses Fail
Before we can examine how resilience is the necessary quality for any entrepreneur to have in order to realise success, it is important to look at some of the reasons why most businesses fail.
You start the business for the wrong reasonsWhilst it is nice to think that as a business owner, you will be your own boss, set your own working hours or make a lot of money, these are not sufficiently the right reasons to start a business. On the other hand considerations such as your level of passion and motivation, your knowledge of the business or strong stamina to whether through tough times are better reasons to consider.
Poor ManagementPoor business management is often cited as a major cause of business failures. You might think that having a passion for something is a substitute for developing the right management skills or gaining sufficient experience. If you are going to start a business, or are already running one, it will be worth your while to educate yourself and acquire some management skills.
Having Insufficient CapitalCapital is a critical factor in the success of a business. It allows you to proficiently carry out business operations. Most of us start a business on a shoe-string budget and fail to anticipate the actual financial needs of the business. Often, most businesses are started as a survivalist tactic when there is no other option to make a living and not much financial resources are at hand. Whatever your financial situation, planning ahead and being aware of your financial limitations and planning how to overcome them is essential.
Lacking A Marketing StrategyThe phrase “build it and they will come” is a bad approach to setting up a business. Even if you provide the best product or service, customers will not know about it and patronage your business unless you make an effort to let them know of your offering. Putting a marketing strategy in place helps you maintain a new stream of customers coming to your business and obtaining your goods and services, thereby ensuring a constant flow of income.
Lack Of PlanningPlanning is essential for any business. It provides for a roadmap of how the business is going to progress. A lack of planning is also one of the major causes of failure in business. How else will you know where your business is going unless you plan ahead. Planning for a business starts with a well written business plan. The business plan should be dynamic and be constantly updated and adjusted according to the experiences of the business owner .
Ignoring Digital MediaWe are in an age where almost everything is done online. Ignoring this trend can have catastrophic consequences for a business. Your business should embrace digital media and attempt to exploit various avenues in this domain. For example, instead of only using social media for your business, try using it in conjunction with developing a website. You might also consider digital advertising, including search advertising.
Why Resilience Is The Key
Looking at what it takes to be an entrepreneur and some of the reasons why businesses fail as discussed above, it is clear that what you need to do in order to succeed in business is mostly learned rather than something we are born with.
Since there is so much to learn on your journey as an entrepreneur, it is expected that there are times you will meet with failure. The important thing is not to let that failure define you. That is where resilience comes into play. It is the ability to recover quickly from misfortune and soldier on.
As a resilient entrepreneur, you will understand that failures are temporary setbacks from which you gain a wealth of experience. You will aggregate all your experiences towards the achievement of your objective of being a successful entrepreneur, knowing that this is an iterative process until you get it right. That is why resilience is a must on an entrepreneurial journey.