Young Upstarts

All about entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship, ideas, innovation, and small business.

Why Most Startup Companies Fail Within the First Five Years

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What is an entrepreneur?

The definition of an entrepreneur via Webster’s Dictionary is, “a person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so.” When setting up a company, one must further define what exactly those risks are. While these risks can be scary, they can also be very rewarding if properly handled. One’s own failures is one way to learn the basic reasons a start-up company may not succeed, but a much better method would be by learning from other entrepreneurs’ failures.

The Age of Entrepreneurship.

While businesses such as Facebook, Apple, and Google were started by very young entrepreneurs, it is uncommon for entrepreneurs to be in their twenties when they become successful. It is very uncommon for a young adult to have the drive and determination necessary to start a successful business. The type of passion that is necessary to bring a business to success from absolutely nothing is not commonly found until one is older. There are no elements available to those who are beginning a start up business. The staff, the equipment, the building it is all housed in, and the idea itself need to be provided by the entrepreneur themselves. A person must be very focused, organized, and passionate about their business in order for it to succeed. Though this article is certainly aimed at anyone who is considering a career in entrepreneurship, those in their twenties should take special consideration. Tips for entrepreneurial success can be almost interchangeable with financial tips for young adults.

Success in Education.

Another key element preferred by a respected entrepreneur is an education. It is a rarity for a successful entrepreneur to not at least obtain a bachelor’s degree. Most do not obtain their bachelor’s degree until their mid-twenties or later. A higher education can give you more than just the necessary tools and resources from the education. It can also give you an opportunity to network with other like-minded individuals. Small businesses have a better success rate when more than one entrepreneur is involved with the start-up process. Arguably the best place for two entrepreneurs with similar business ideas and morals to meet is at a college or university.

Failures to Avoid.

According to Fortune.com, the number one reason startup companies fail is that they make products that do not sell. While this is not the only reason 9 out of 10 startup companies fail, it is the most frequently reported. For this reason, it is important when beginning a business to note that if the product or service is not ‘taking off’, one cannot rely on the hope that it will one day. One must not only be honest with themselves, they are also obliged to be honest to any investors, stock holders, business partners, and friends and family who may be affected by the success or failure of the business. While it may be embarrassing for a person to admit that their whole-hearted business venture may be failing, it is only to their best interest that they are open. Business partners may have ideas that could potentially reverse failure.

A Few More Words of Caution.

Financially, one should have built a good credit score in the event that a loan is needed. Most entrepreneurs are not able to rely on investors alone. Whether through savings or a business loan, a proper financial basis is necessary. A quality product as well as a quality sales staff to push the product is necessary as well. One must always take leadership in the business and responsibility for both its successes and failures. In order to be successful in any manner of finances, employment, and relationships both personal and business-like, one must be honest, driven, financially responsible, and experienced.

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Young Upstarts is a business and technology blog that champions new ideas, innovation and entrepreneurship. It focuses on highlighting young people and small businesses, celebrating their vision and role in changing the world with their ideas, products and services.

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