January 26, 2016 ~ Jen Cohen Crompton
In 2014, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were a reported 400,000 new businesses (defined as businesses with one or more employees) brought to life – that’s about 1,095 new startups popping up each day. Unfortunately, in the same time frame, 470,000 U.S. businesses perished.
This inequality in business births to deaths isn’t just a sign of the times. The death rate is likely a combination of factors – situational, financial, etc. But, no matter the cause, these numbers should not be a deterrent to those interested in launching a new business, and they shouldn’t be the dark cloud looming over entrepreneurs and aspiring business owners, encouraging them to go down without a fight.
In the words of serial entrepreneur and emotional intelligence advocate Jen Groover, future business owners should have “more fear of failure than of regret.” In other words, be sorry you didn’t try, not that you did try.
So, to give entrepreneurs some practical advice, here is a shortlist of three things you need to get started that will put you in the best possible situation to succeed.
1. Great credit. It is unfortunately the way of the world, but good credit can get you almost anywhere – and poor credit can continually be a challenging hurdle that is extremely difficult to overcome. According to Experian, the average American credit score rating is 687, which is in the “fair” rating zone.
True story. Before my husband and I launched our business, we worked very hard to ensure we both had great credit. Thanks to our above-average credit scores, we were able to secure funding, get approved to rent space, and the list goes on. Great credit isn’t instantly created, so it’s part of the climb to reach the goal. Make smart financial decisions and always have that vision in mind, which may suppress some of those spending urges.
2. Technology. Technology is an enabler. While we shouldn’t keep our heads down all the time and many of us could use less screen time, leveraging technology can actually make that happen.
For example, streamline workflows and use automation to set things in motion. By using cloud systems to sync documents and files and allow for seamless collaboration and access, teams can work together from afar – which means you don’t need to be tied to your desk. For entrepreneurs and small business owners, this is so important since “getting out there” is often half the struggle.
3. Support system. While the adage states that it “takes a village to raise a child,” it also takes a village to build and grow a business. There are times when you will want to give up and go home. You’ll ask yourself, “When should I throw in the towel?” and have no clue whether you’re actually succeeding. But, that is when you need your support system the most. You will need someone to push you through, talk you off the ledge, and remind you why you began this journey in the first place.
So while businesses come and go, there are plenty that come, stay, and succeed. Be one of those.