How much are new business owners responsible for entrepreneurial failure?

Share these new ideas


How many people who start new business ventures do so totally out of their own accord? A small minority of people – estimated at 35% – start because they have a business idea, see an opportunity, and are governed by their passion. But there are many other individuals who are thrust into entrepreneurial activity through force of circumstances. With not enough jobs being created people whether in their 20s, 30s, 40s or 50s  or even beyond have to get out there and bootstrap on their own.

Wouldn’t it be useful to know whether you are going to succeed or not in your new business venture? The challenge is that humans are unpredictable, largely, and each entrepreneurial venture requires a different set of skills. But a research company, Gallop has come up with 10 common traits that the best entrepreneurs share. Whether these traits are significant is another matter. Many other researchers have come up with lists of traits that successful entrepreneurs allegedly possess but how accurate are those? The thing is for Gallop is that they being smart enough to commercialise the 10 traits, packaging them into an Entrepreneurial Strengths Finder product that can add a revenue stream to the business. They have an  Individual Strengths Finder but now have seen an opportunity in the entrepreneurial market for another Strengths Finder which they can make money out of.

Researchers say about 50% of new US companies fail in their first five years. External factors or reasons for failure includes running out of money, market changes in supply chains or the regulatory system that makes it difficult to run a profitable business. But then the researchers studying the individual reasons concluded that sometimes the entrepreneurs just doesn’t have the talent for the job.

Some people believe, mainly those selling business advice and entrepreneurial education, that’s you can take any one and turn that person into an entrepreneur. The Gallup researchers say training and support can ignite entrepreneurial capacity but it can’t make the person creative turning him or her into a risk taker or into an  achiever. Gallop researched more than 4000 entrepreneurs in the US, Germany and Mexico. The 10 traits include business focus, confidence, creative thinker, delegator, determination, independent, knowledge seeker, promoter, relationship builder and risk taker.

If you haven’t got these 10 qualities, can you still succeed? You probably guessed the answer. Entrepreneurs with a natural gift for things like opportunity spotting find it easier to succeed but those who lack in the 10 traits can benefit from coaching, technical assistance and training. It’s interesting that “Creative Thinker” is third on the list. They described this as entrepreneurs who know how to turn an existing product or idea into something even better.

You might be surprised by what I’m going to say next. But really about five years ago I identified how important creative thinking and opportunity consciousness and attitudes are to any form of entrepreneurial activity. I didn’t have to ask 4000 people. It’s taken me five years to put together this website, resources and a book called “Breakthrough Ideas” to assist entrepreneurs in any size shape or form to commercialise their promising new business ideas.

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