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Surviving - and Thriving - after 5 Years
6/5/2018
Karl R. LaPan, president & CEO, The NIIC
ProSpeak

You have likely heard the statistic that 50 percent of businesses fail after the first five years. Entrepreneurship is not for the weak. What separates those who survive, and even thrive, from those who close shop? Here are factors experts believe can make you resilient – or at least increase your chance of success.

Relevance: Without relevance your concept will go belly up. Does it have staying power? Markets change, as does the demand for goods. Think about Blockbuster Stores. With the evolution of technology, the company did not remain relevant. Specifically, it did not transition from renting media to streaming services. It eventually shuttered most of its stores, with only ten stores remaining out of over 9,000.

Market Smarts: Remember the marketing basics: conduct a SWOT and PEST analysis. Every bit of valuable market knowledge reduces the number of resources expended. A clear understanding of the competitive landscape and insights can be discerned from the environmental scanning of trends – Political, Economic, Socio-cultural, Technological – are essential to capitalize on potential market opportunities.

Lean in: Most startups have blind spots. Lean into your opportunities and face the brutal realities of your industry and marketplace. It is not enough to play defense – standing your ground against unpredictable, potentially destructible factors, like market changes, lawsuits, talent loss and more. You must also, manage uncertainties (product, financial, management, technological, execution and market). Where do you spend most of your time?

Grit: You will inevitably encounter setbacks, doubts, etc. Persevere to overcome them! Many businesses fail because the founders gave up when times were tough.

Seek trusted advisors: Don’t go it alone. Most successful owners have a support system behind them.  

The NIIC

Phone: (260) 407-6442

Website: TheNIIC.org

Email: klapan@niic.net

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