Our friend Liz Strauss was kind enough to introduce us to Carol Roth. She has a straightforward style that I think you’ll appreciate.
By Carol Roth
If you want to become an NFL football player, first you need to be an outstanding college player, usually from a major school. If you want to become a lawyer, first you need to have excellent undergraduate grades to be accepted into law school, survive school, then pass the “bar” exam. How about a doctor? Pre-med courses, med school, internships, etc.
So, Here’s the Situation:
Being an entrepreneur is a risk. Starting a small business in a small town is more work than it might seem. Unlike other career paths, you actually have to put your own money at risk (as well as your time and effort) in order to become an entrepreneur.
Sometimes you need to ask not could I be an entrepreneur, but should I be an entrepreneur.
Why Should You “Screen” Yourself?
The answer is in the statistics. It is widely known that the majority of businesses fail within a few years. This amount is projected at up to a 90% failure rate within several years of inception. It is impossible to know the actual number, as some businesses go into bankruptcy or some type of receivership, while others close voluntarily when the owners realize they just can’t make the business work. Many more businesses survive, but don’t actually succeed; these businesses just limp along making a modest profit each year, but definitely not an amount commensurate with the effort required to keep that business open. Often, the rewards (financial or otherwise) simply don’t justify the risks.
You will fall into one of two categories:
Category B people will react in one of two ways (hopefully!). Then they will either (i) generate a list of areas they need to improve upon in order to increase their prospects for business success and prepare for business ownership down the line; or (ii) seek out a path that is a better fit for them and go on to be incredibly successful in something that they are well suited to pursue, saving lots of money (at least tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars), time and effort. They may even gain a new appreciation for their current job or be invigorated to pursue the next steps in their career.
Information and knowledge are power. An entrepreneurship screening process is something that has been so desperately lacking, so that the true entrepreneurs can take educated risks and that the 85-90% of the people who weren’t meant to be entrepreneurs could save their money, their time, their effort and their emotional well being and focus on excelling at something that is a perfect match for them.
How will you screen yourself to make sure that your small business can survive in your small town?
- About the Author
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Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.