Tag Archives: business failures

The Mystery of Business Births and Deaths in the U.S.

Business births and deaths are a mystery because it is nearly impossible to determine how many small businesses—whether they have employees or not—actually start up each year, and how many fail each year.

It appears that the following report is the only document available today that attempts to solve this mystery… while discussing the shocking truth about business starts and endings.

Continue reading The Mystery of Business Births and Deaths in the U.S.

How to Avoid the Most Common Reason for Business Failure

You can have the greatest idea in the world for a new product, or service, but if no one will buy it, you will not have a business—at least not for long.

In my last article, dealing with why businesses fail, I pointed out that almost 50% of the business failures studied by CB Insights failed because they tried to sell to a market that didn’t exist.

Even worse, 8 out of 10 reasons for failure had to do with wrong product, disconnected customers, or market problems. Or, in simpler terms, the startup founders built something that few people really wanted… a solution looking for a problem, or need, that just wasn’t there.

Continue reading How to Avoid the Most Common Reason for Business Failure

Is Failure Really a Good Thing?

End of TP Roll

When this represents the status of your business, you may want to revisit how well prepared you were to start your business in the first place.

I watched an interview with Richard Branson a short time ago, where he encouraged aspiring entrepreneurs to “screw it—just do it.”

Well, every year over 6 Million would-be entrepreneurs seem to follow Branson’s advice to “screw it—just do it,” … and….

Most of them quickly fail! Continue reading Is Failure Really a Good Thing?

Are You Cut Out to Ride The Entrepreneurial Lion?



Toby Thomas, CEO of EnSite Solutions, has a favorite analogy where he compares being an entrepreneur to a guy riding a lion:

“People look at him and think, ‘This guy’s really got it together! He’s brave!’ And the man riding the lion is thinking, ‘How the hell did I get on a lion, and how do I keep from getting eaten?”‘   —Toby Thomas

When you really think about it, you can see the truth in Thomas’s analogy… it’s hard enough to start a business (getting on the lion), but then, when you can’t make the business work (controlling the lion), it is often impossible to get out of the business without losing everything you worked hard for (getting eaten by the lion).

Unfortunately, there seems to be way too many people who, with little knowledge, or forethought, take a running leap onto the lion’s back and then wonder: “What the hell do I do now?”

Well, it seems that most of the time they get eaten.

I believe that just jumping on the lion—while unprepared to ride it—is the main reason that over 5 Million businesses “disappear” every year in the U.S. Most of them simply “get eaten.”

If you are going to “get on the lion,” you had better know whether you belong up there—that you have the “right stuff” to be an entrepreneur… otherwise, you will be one of those who get eaten.

The truth is: not everyone can be a lion-tamer—just like not everyone can be an entrepreneur. In other words, not everyone who starts a business should be starting one.

Can You Ride the Entrepreneurial Lion?

So, how do you know if you should even be considering starting a business… that you are entrepreneurial material?

That is not as simple a question as it might seem. That’s why I’m in the process of researching and preparing a small book on entrepreneurship.

This upcoming book is not about how to start a business—this book is about whether, or not, you should start a business.

The book will cover: the real definition of an entrepreneur; what the characteristics of an entrepreneur are; and what it takes personally to become a successful entrepreneur… to control the lion. It will also include a self-administered test that can give you a good idea about your chances of starting a successful business.

If you are a current entrepreneur, or still aspiring to become a small business owner, and you want to know whether or not you should be riding the entrepreneurial lion, leave your email address in the subscription box at the upper right and I’ll let you know when the book becomes available.

Or, if you think you can ride the entrepreneurial lion without knowing how to tame it—go ahead, give it a try…  jump on……..   Here’s what you will be facing:




The Mystery of Business Births and Deaths–2014

Business births and deaths in the U.S. have always been a mystery—for a couple of reasons:

  1. The government and academia only try to track about 22% of all businesses—those with the greatest potential for a high growth rate—and what little information they do produce is several years in arrears.
  2. The remaining 78% of all U.S. businesses are generally ignored—considered not to exist—not only by the government and academia, but also by the business pundits and “experts” within the business community itself.

As a result, there is little to no information about the lives of 78% of all businesses in the U.S.—and information on the other 22% is years late, often contradictory, and highly suspect.

Since, apparently, no one else in the U.S. cares much about whether our small businesses live or die, I thought I would research the mystery of small business births and deaths myself.

The results of this endeavor are presented in a report I created titled Business Survival Reality: The Mystery of Business Births and Deaths in the U.S.




You can download a free pdf copy of this report here (no opt-in), or for more information about this report, click here.



This report looks at the following issues:

  • Why this information is important
  • The definition of a business
  • A total business census in the U.S.
  • Annual business growth (including all businesses)
  • Business Births by year
  • Business Deaths by year
  • Conclusions and Final Thoughts about the entire mystery

My primary intent in writing this report is to try and generate a dialogue about the 78% of all businesses in the U.S. that no one seems to care about.

There is a dearth of information being directed specifically at this important segment of our business community. Also, any kind of assistance offered by either government or private entities is almost nonexistent.

This large group of small businesses is composed of the businesses in the U.S. that need the most help—and receive none.

We in the business community need to do more to help these millions of small businesses that try to start a business every year, and more often than not—fail.

Take a look at this small report—you can download it free here with no opt-in—and let me know what you think about the information presented in it.


Small Business–Caught in the Middle

I posted about this subject before, but I thought it would be a good idea to see if anything has changed since then. Apparently it has, but not for the good of small business.

“…community banks have plenty of money to loan, but thanks to increased regulatory scrutiny, all banks–even those that had no part in the subprime mess–are being forced to tighten their lending standards and are therefore narrowing the range of acceptable borrowers.”
–Paul Merski, Chief economist, and Director of federal tax policy for Independent Community Bankers of America

“We want to lend, but the regulators are flat-out telling us, ‘Get your capital up.’ Then there’s Congress telling you to, ‘lend it all out.”
–Greg Melvin, Board member of FNBCorp, a PA based bank that received $100 million in federal bailout funds.

“The left hand has the banker by the throat, saying ‘We want your ratios adjusted to compensate for diminishing assets,’ while the other hand is saying ‘we need you to start lending.’ They’re coming from different directions.”
–Curtis Cummings, CEO of Alan Jeskey Builders of Las Vegas

Well, as is typical of anything the U.S. government is involved in, the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing–and small business is caught in the middle.

Hundreds (thousands?) of small businesses are closing every day–putting more and more people out of work–because they do not have the financial resources to see them through this recession.

Putting cash in the hands of consumers who are supposed to spend it in businesses that no longer exist doesn’t make much sense.

Small businesses need access to operating capital to keep their business viable until the economy turns around. The banks have the money to loan to deserving businesses, and the willingness to loan it, but the federal government is telling them they cannot loan the money out.

Doesn’t make much sense to me–does it to you?