The majority of businesses fail in their first 5 years of operating.
Many of the businesses that survive their first 5 years, plateau at a mediocre level. They never grow to be successful or impactful. Instead, they generate just enough revenue to provide the owner with a modest income.
The owners of these businesses don’t really own a business, they own a job. In fact, these owners would be better off finding a job in their industry — they could work fewer hours, earn more money, and lead a less stressful life.
But some business owners seem to have it all — they enjoy an abundance of cash, free time, and growth of their business.
What’s the difference between these two types of business owners?
Disgruntled business owners say that the difference comes from the industry that the business operates in. But any industry I’ve observed has had successful and unsuccessful businesses operating in it. Let’s be honest, if a business owner really thought that they couldn’t be successful in an industry, then they would leave that industry.
So what’s really going on here?
In truth, successful business owners work on their business and unsuccessful business owners work in their business.
Let’s take an example of two plumbing businesses.
In one plumbing business, the owner does the work. He takes all the calls, does all the jobs, and maintains the books. Most weeks, he works 60 hours and barely makes enough to get by. No matter what he tries, he can’t grow the business past a certain point. He’s exhausted and stressed out.
In another plumbing business, the owner manages a crew of plumbers that do the work for him. He has a secretary who manages the appointments, a crew of plumbers who do the jobs, and a trusted bookkeeper to manage the books. When he wants to grow the business, he puts more budget into the marketing campaign and adds more plumbers to his crew.
In the first business, the owner is the technician. In the second business, the owner is the owner.
This is the fundamental mistake of new business owners — they assume that just because they are good at the technical task, they will be good at the business of the technical task.
But as you can see from the example above, a good plumber is not necessarily the best person to run a plumbing business. If you’re a good plumber and you enjoy plumbing, then you should get a job as a plumber.
And this is why most businesses fail — the people who run the business fail to let go of the technical tasks. They fail to transition into the role of business owners and wonder why the business won’t grow.
In order to become successful, business owners must resolve to become good at the business of what they do. By focussing on the business activities and delegating the technical tasks, your business can become successful.
If you don’t want to learn how to succeed in business, then you should get a job.