In January 2015, Neil Patel -a serial Entrepreneur and Forbes contributor shared an article that spoke about the 90% Of Startups that Fail and What You Need To Know About The 10% that succeed. He touches on two characteristics of successful starts which according to him are that the product must be perfect for the market and the entrepreneur should but ignore anything.
We've all heard the shocking entrepreneurial statistics that say 9 out 10 entrepreneurs will fail and their business will not survive the 5 years period everyone speaks about, and maybe at some point after hearing this you started reflecting on how lucky you are to still be in business after all these years or maybe not. Perhaps you are approaching your 5th year, your equipment has depreciated, costs have doubled, sales decreasing, best employees leaving, vision lost and the only thing you are fighting for is survival.
As a startup entrepreneur, the only thing I ever wanted to see was my startup growing, moving from small to medium business, impacting more people, changing perceptions and perhaps being on some magazine in honor of the great work done, unfortunately, the reality is that this is not always going to be the case in fact, it is rarely going to be the case. So what do you do when you are running a startup that doesn't grow?
My answer, keeping on trying but know when to quit.
Have you heard how many times successful businesses have failed? A lot right? Wrong!
Some of the worlds leading startups learned from past mistakes done by other people or companies and improved on them, its okay to be in business while your business is struggling, it will serve as good research to other new comers who will lead and disrupt the market.
Maybe you are not meant to lead the startup
So many times startup entrepreneurs believe that just because they founded the company the absolutely must lead it in a top level management position like CEO or COO, perhaps as the founder are the reason the startup is stack. I am yet to meet an entrepreneur who found a company and lead it from bottom up serving in the lowest level in the company while giving the employees a chance to lead. The CEO of Business Leadership South Africa Mr. Bonang Mohale said, if the employees are the ones building, manufacturing and or processing the products and or services of a startup then why are they excluded in the decision making processes.
If you cant change the world, then just change your street
I am firmly convinced that it is high time startup entrepreneurs know and understand that not everyone is going to change the world, otherwise the world would be a mess. Some of us are destined to change only our street and its okay. By introducing high success metrics in a startup, entrepreneurs frequently think that there are failing when they cant achieve the goals.
So next time you think your startups are not growing, sit down, reflect on the Past - Lessons, Now- Strengths and weakness and Future- Opportunities