Coping with riskThere’s also an element of right time, right place as the marketplace often experiences sudden changes, both for the better and worse. In some instances, existing dominant companies may feel ideas are too risky, developing resistance to innovation and therefore leaving an open door for the right entrepreneur. There’s no denying that entrepreneurship carries risk. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. Much of this risk occurs in a company’s infancy, deciding whether to take the initial plunge, raising funds from friends and family or investing in growth. Opening up shop is often a lonely route to take. While small business government grants are available, there are only approximately 200 reserved for UK businesses each year. Competition is high and the chances of successfully securing a grant are slim. Many entrepreneurs therefore turn to personal loans, family and friends or private investors. While early risks can pay off and set the business off to a flying start, nine times out of ten this isn’t the case and the business is stopped in its tracks. The ‘Startup Genome Report Extra on Premature Scaling’ states that 90% of all startups fail, for example. The statistics are grim, and the outlook for women is even bleaker. With female-led startups getting just 1p for every £1 of VC investment, they’re already starting on the back foot.
Why so many entrepreneurs?The early struggles and disheartening statistics associated with being a startup don’t seem to deter budding entrepreneurs. Motivations for starting up on your own can be very specific and often personal, although most are spurred on by one of four reasons.
- Working for yourself, setting goals and running your business as you see fit
- Proving a point and creating a legacy that stands the test of time
- Establishing financial security and success
- Following a moral or ethical purpose
Becoming a successful entrepreneurThe billion-dollar question, which everyone wants to know the answer to, is ‘What’s the key to success?’ It’s not an easy one to answer. Some of it comes down to luck and good timing. Successful entrepreneur Alexander Graham Bell, for example, filed his patent just two hours before Elisha Gray and entered the history books as the inventor of the telephone. However, becoming a successful entrepreneur can’t be entirely down to timing. Channeling certain personality traits is vital. Having passion, persisting through the bad times as well as the good, and showing resilience in the face of knock backs are all key to a prosperous career. Belief in the process and journey is paramount. Entrepreneurs will no doubt face resistance along the way. After all no one else in the industry will want to see their competitors succeed. As Margaret Thatcher once said: ‘‘You do not achieve anything without trouble, ever.” It’s important to keep going even when faced with failure, and not to let failure define the end result.
Share this story