Successful entrepreneurs have to beat the odds.

November 10, 2009 at 6:23 am Leave a comment

It takes a special kind of person to start a business. It takes skill, energy, dedication and luck to make it successful. The stories told by three entrepreneurs in the following article will sound familiar to every founder of a midsize company.

The statistics surrounding the survival rate for small businesses have long been subject to fervid debate. Depending on who you’re talking to, the predicted life span for a startup can elicit grim to cautiously optimistic responses.

One commonly cited figure is that half of all businesses go under in the first year while 95 percent fail within the first five years. According to a study done by the Small Business Administration, two-thirds of all new small business survive the first two years but only 44 percent will still be operating by year four.

Common culprits for failure include undercapitalization, cash-flow crises, and overexpansion. Then of course there are a host of external factors that nobody can predict — let alone adequately plan for — such as volatile credit markets and unstable economic cycles.

To gain insight into specific practices that enable small companies to keep going and growing even during difficult times, BusinessWeek profiled three entrepreneurs who have reached benchmarks in their companies’ life cycles: three years, five years, and 10 years. Their stories and strategies follow.

Read the article by Stacy Perman for Business Week on


Entry filed under: CEO coach, key executive coach, management.

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