Starting up a new business is exciting while also being a frightening and difficult task. The Pew Research Center reports that more than 50 percent of startups fail in the first four years and fewer than 60 percent earn any profit after 10 years. More than 500,000 individuals in America close their businesses for good every year. Scary stuff.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start a business, but it does mean you need to know what you are getting into before you jump in. You need to begin your startup with all of the advantages you can gain with the help of business mentors, business training, and experienced guidance.
For free, you have available to you in Central New York, the U.S. Small Business Administration Syracuse District Office, the WISE Women’s Business Center, the area’s four Small Business Development Centers, area SCORE chapters, regional chambers of commerce, and local libraries. Search for friends or relatives who have successful business experience to help guide you on this journey.
For a cost, you can hire a business coach or startup coach in person or online. Find someone who has been through the fire of opening his/her own business startup — someone who has been awake at night not knowing how to pay the bills. Find someone who understands how to determine if your business idea is viable, who your customers are, and if you can earn a profit. A coach who can teach you how to make your service consistent, how to set up systems in your new business, how to scale your business, and how to keep a life while building your dream would be most helpful.
The success stories of business startups will be individuals who have the determination, the desire, the time, the passion, the willingness to listen and learn, and the financial resources to follow this to the end.
Starting up a new business is like climbing Mount Everest. It’s over 29,000 feet high with frigid, extreme weather conditions; it takes more than three months to climb; danger is all around you each and every day; it costs upward of $100,000 to do it; and you have only a 50 percent chance of success in reaching the top.
Climbing Mount Everest or starting up a business is not for the weak, timid, or foolish. Each requires planning, training, resources, and an experienced guide to increase your chances for success.
James McEntire, of Camden, is owner of Boomers Startups, and helps baby boomers jump start their startup plans. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or (315) 225-3536.