A great number of small businesses are opened due to sheer passion, often sole proprietorships and partnerships fall into this category. The entrepreneur has such a great love for a field or a service, they either save money themselves to fund their start up or appeal to family & friends to secure necessary financing. Over 85% of new businesses close within 3 years. As a consultant I’ve seen every reason you can imagine, from insufficient funding to management issues. A matter such as employee theft can close a business quickly. Yet, out of all the preventable reasons, nothing closes the doors of a business fast as owner pride.
Business by nature is cyclical, meaning it has its ups and downs, these factors are unavoidable. What is avoidable or within our control is how we think. It is natural for us to take on a sense of accomplishment when our product or service is selling well. Factors that lead to the success of an enterprise are normally the culmination of various aspects, not simply a direct result of owner dedication. Unfortunately, some entrepreneurs develop an unwillingness to listen to others during successful business periods. When hard times arise, that same stubbornness or arrogance can be the catalyst to the demise of the business. The problem arises when the entrepreneur is not willing to seek out assistance during down times.
As entrepreneurs we are leaders, and as leaders we must be able to recognize when we need outside assistance. Being able to discern when those situations arise is a sign of a good business owner. It is difficult to take an objective standpoint when evaluating our own life’s work. Sometimes it takes a “fresh pair of eyes”, to come in and assess the situation and recommend the appropriate course of action. If your business is beginning to slide, address the situation immediately. Be willing to implement the remedy necessary for the growth and development of your enterprise.
It is not a sign of weakness to seek out and utilize assistance in any capacity. No matter the business or the owner, help at some point is a necessity. It is true that we as entrepreneurs are captains and our businesses are our ships. In business there is no glory in going down with our ships, especially when we could have simply plugged the hole and continued to sail.