While I was updating SEO on an article today I thought about the statistic everyone throws around about how ‘Most Businesses Fail in X Years‘ and I decided to research what that number actually was.
The first couple of articles I came across said that 80% of all businesses fail within the first year – or 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs give up within 12 months. This number is staggering! There are so many people starting their own online business lately, I wonder if the number could be true because of saturation, or false because of all the wonderful bloggers and freelancers currently online working it.
Another blog post I read stated that the number was 90%, and to be honest that just doesn’t seem possible. If you’re considering everyone who starts a blog and never finishes it, sure, but not actual people to set up their business and get things really started. There’s no way on that number.
Then I came across a blog with actual, factual data and cited sources that explains why this number is false. The rate of businesses that fail in the first year is actually only 20%. It’s actually the 20 year mark where the percentage drops all the way down to only 20% still standing, but that’s hardly a mark of failure.
Don’t Get Discouraged By Misinformation
Honestly, regardless of whether this information is even true, I want you to go ahead and start your business this year. If you’ve been thinking about it, if it’s something you want or need to do for yourself, do it. I wholeheartedly feel there is no reason not to go into business for yourself.
It’s possible you could decide it isn’t what you want to do after all, or the business you started isn’t exactly what you wanted. That’s okay. We all fail and we all learn from those failures. And in some cases it might just take some redirection of your business to transform it into something better.
I started my business online in 2002, which means it has been going on 16 years now. Admittedly, I somewhat stumbled into the business world and all of my success when I was 19 and it’s a miracle upon miracles that the business is still going today.. but reflecting on that time I can tell you exactly why it was successful and, while the methods may have changed, the same principles still work in today’s online world.
It Won’t Be Easy, But It Is Simple
It is really simple to start your business in the internet age. I could give you a completely flawless formula right now that would guarantee your success if you followed it fully and passionately. The problem is, you have to do the work. That is where a lot of people fail to start.
You can’t claim the excuse that you don’t know how to do a thing that’s necessary to start your business online, because every last bit of information you need is available online. There are thousands of sites that show you how to set up your own site or blog. There are millions of videos on YouTube that teach you how to do anything & everything from massage a cat, to build a sandbox picnic table out of pallets – which is even instructed by a woman! (I’m not leaving you any excuses)
So if you’re ready to cast aside your excuses and start your business, follow the steps you find below. Over time I will update this blog posts with links to more specific information.
If you still have excuses, comment and I will help you slay them.
Successful Business Formula
Fill A Need – Every successful business comes from a need. You can have the most amazing doggie diapers in the entire world, but if no one has a dog, no one will buy them from you.
Chances are, if you’re thinking of starting a business you already have a need in mind. Many successful business owners created their business to fill their own need (like I did), then shared it with others.
In the case of my business I was a website developer who couldn’t afford to pay the high prices of hosting, but the affordable hosting solutions didn’t have great uptime. My solution was to get my own server, teach myself how to take care of it, then offer my friends cheap hosting with stellar uptime.
Service – Serving your audience with complimentary goods or services is a must. These service opportunities will likely be something you’re passionate about doing or teaching, that makes you feel good while creating, that you could not only keep doing if it never made you a dime, but even would if it cost you money to continue.
In my case anything related to web design and running a business is my service opportunity. My business is hosting websites, but my passion is helping you build your dream (on my hosting).
Connections – Making connections with people is the best way to gain the trust required for them to make the leap and buy from you. The trust will begin with branding (which will help with repetitiveness) and continues when you help them over and over with your free and paid products and services. This will take time to build if you don’t already have it, so go ahead and accept that fact now.
Clarity – You must have clarity on what your product is, what need it is filling, who has the need, and how you can help them. Again, selling dog diapers to cat owners is just plain stupid.
You must also have clarity of purpose. Why are you doing this? What do you get from it, besides monetary gain? If you’re starting this simply with the goal of making money, you can just not start.
To Summarize The Formula
It’s Simple – You have to have clarity around your goal and intentions, as well as the product/service you’ll be offering and who will need/want it. What you’re selling must have a need in the market and you should make connections with people to build trust and loyalty. You should provide complimentary service to your audience that aligns with your passion so you can feel fulfilled, which will help drive and motivate you to keep going.
If you’ve started your own business online, please comment here with your site URL, I’d love to see it. I’ll even return the favor! If you haven’t yet, comment anyway and let me know how I can help.