Small Business Failure Rate: Don’t be scared to fail – Success is founded on Intuition and Passionate
Well this is what Debbie Van de Ven from Work Your Art believes and who am I to argue. Debbie is an entrepreneur who uses her skills and knowledge of the art world and entrepreneurship to run her business. She offers a fun and actionable business course for aspiring artists.
The small business failure rate is pretty high for the USA
Seven out of 10 new employer firms survive at least 2
years, half at least 5 years, a third at least 10 years, and
a quarter stay in business 15 years or more. Census data
report that 69 percent of new employer establishments born
to new firms in 2000 survived at least 2 years, and 51 percent survived 5 or more years. Survival rates were similar across states and major industries. Bureau of Labor Statistics data on establishment age show that 49 percent of establishments survive 5 years or more; 34 percent survive 10 years or more; and 26 percent survive 15 years or more.
Source: U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Census Bureau, Business Dynamics Statistics; U.S. Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BED
So as you can see the only about 50% will survive after 5 years, whilst the small business faliure rate makes sobering reading, what can you do to improve your chances?
Throughout Debbie’s interview it was clear to me that four things things stood out they were: Passion about you business and market are vital, communicating and networking are intergral to success, Not being scared of faliure and finally if you have an entrepreneurs intuiton use it. I asked Debbie What do you think is the most important skill which led to your success?
I believe my intuition and the courage to screw up once in a while got me to where I am right now. As an entrepreneur, making mistakes is very important, since failures are the best learning opportunities. When something you built didn’t work out the way you thought it would, you unconsciously sharpen this intuition, with better knowledge of what might work and what won’t, and you exercise the ability to see ‘success clues’ early on in the process. Do you have an idea for a business? My advice: just go do it and don’t be afraid of failure, it will be a great learning experience either way.
This is a typical answer of someone who believes in their product, Debbie clearly does. Entrpreneurs who are passionate about their products and services and believe in them, tend not to let the potholess in the road overturn their business effort, they just fill in them in or go round them. You have to think outside the box sometimes and as the old adage goes “if at first you don’t succeed try, try again”.
My expertise and skills grew from my passion. Art has always been a part of my life, I’ve been brought up in a very creative family stimulating creativity. The best thing about having a passion and a good knowledge of what you market and sell is that you simply can’t stop talking about it. Creating content for my art business course doesn’t feel as ‘work’ to me, it’s a way of expressing my fascination. If you feel you struggle with creating content, it will be harder for other people to see this passion and to learn from your expertise, so having this knowledge and the absolute urge to tell people about it, will benefit your success tremendously.
She touches on a very important point here, communication and networking, when you are passionate about something and you talk to them about it you find that that passion rubs off, it’s infectious and it spreads like wildfire. Networking and talking to potential customers, other entrepreneurs and even competitors can weild wonderful results and it something that both Debbie and I would agree on. Get out there and sell your product market yourself and your passion as well as the brand. Debbie thought it was that important that when I asked her about courses she said this:
The most important lessons I learned were the ones I got from talking to other entrepreneurs and not necessarily from the courses I took. I liked the courses, but meeting other people was more important than the content of the course. Talking to someone who successfully did what you want to achieve and being able to pick their brain, is incredibly valuable. You can find all kinds of entrepreneurs on the social media channels, and you’d be surprised how many of the more ‘famous’ entrepreneurs are willing to help you out with some questions via email. After all, they’ve been through the same, and they love giving advice on what they do. (Again, passion!) I also have a masters degree in Art, which helped me further explore the art world and find ways to reach a bigger audience with my own work.
A testiment to the power of Networking.
Asking about people that inspired her she said that there is no one person but a group of people which were the ‘bootstrap single entrepreneurs’. I imagine because she empathised with their struggles to get their businesses going without any external funding and the amount of work they must have had to put in. Debbie said she puts in a lot of long hours still often around 16 hours a day, however one of the things she did say was that because she loved what she was doing it rarely felt like work and again this another advantage of doing something you are passionate about.
What is your most memorable achievement thus far, in business?
The best thing in starting my business was getting spontaneous testimonials from visitors in the mail, explaining how my advice made an impact on their life, and telling me how they quit their job to go work on their art successfully. I would sometimes literally jump across the room or made a silly happy dance after reading messages like that. Making a difference in someone’s life is absolutely the best thing about being an entrepreneur. It’s incredible.
I Love this answer it just shows how much it means to her that her business works and makes a difference to her customers. Debbie achieved this through hard work and goal setting, she had this to say on the importance of goals
Goals are extremely important. I always think of goals like small steps on a ‘dream ladder’, and I check on my goals on a weekly basis. On Sunday, in example, I write down goals for the coming week, and at the end of each month, I look through the goals and form new ones for the coming month or year(s).
She makes systematic attempt to ensure that she regularly sets and just as importantly monitors her progress against those goals. If you want to help your business succeed then Debbie has these tips for you:
Don’t hesitate, don’t fear failure (because if your screw up, it will be the best learning experience you can get as an entrepreneur), and keep the conversation going with anyone who you meet. Especially your target audience; ask them what their fears and ambitions are, what they would like to achieve. If you can tailor your business to their needs, it becomes a no brainer for them to do business with you.
Build a business around your own interests, that way working your ass off to make it work won’t feel like “working” and you have the ability to build a business that lasts and attracts like-minded people into your life.
We’d both like to thank you for reading If you’re an ambitious artist wanting to become successful and/or you’re passionate about selling and marketing, go take a peek at the free articles Debbie publishes on Work Your Art and let her know what you think. She would also love to talk to fellow entrepreneurs and I’m willing to give some more advice to those who would appreciate a kick start in business. Contact me any time at firstname.lastname@example.org
We’d love to get feedback from you about Debbie, about the article or the website and if you like it remember to ‘like’ it. You can download the full interview here if you are interested.
Thanks for reading.