The Launch Your Business series that the Bulletin will be doing, following 11 startups who took the L.Y.B. class up at C.O.C.C., should be interesting.
Far be it for me to be nitpicky. But there was one statement in the first article that seemed dubious to me: "More than 80% of businesses fail in the first 2 years."
Now the figure I've always heard, is 50% of new businesses fail in the first two years. Even that, I've always kind of doubted based on my observations.
Most businesses seem to last two years.
Now -- five years out? That's another story. I could believe that 50% figure at 5 years; 80% at 7 years.
I wonder if these stats are urban myth.
As to why they last 2 years? I think there is enough hope and enthusiasm usually to overcome the first few hurdles. They usually haven't built up enough debt quite yet.
So both money and enthusiasm are a little stronger at first. It probably takes a few months to a year for most new businesses to start to have the suspicion that it may not work quite the way they hoped.
O.K. So the second article has come out.
I wasn't going to comment -- because I don't want to "Stomp on their Dreams" as a friend so elegantly put it.
For one thing, from the outside I can't gauge the motivation levels of the owners -- which is probably the most important factor of all, if more than a little intangible.
But I couldn't help noticing that almost all the new businesses have a environmental/social slant.
I guess this is fine, but I wonder if putting those concerns so front and center is wise. Yes, have a socially conscious business but first make your business work; make money, then make good.
Anyway, I wonder what it means. If it was something easily done, then one would think existing businesses would be doing it. So I suspect there is extra cost and effort and a diversion to adding social concerns to a business plan.
Either that, or it's a promotional appeal. Which, as I've mentioned many many times on this blog, often puts the cart before the horse. I have my doubts that appealing to the public on environment or social levels to buy from you can be anything but extra to your basic plan of actually selling them something they need and want.
5 days ago