Anyone can start a business. But to start a business that succeeds and continues to flourish isn’t so easy. According to Statistics Canada, at least half the new companies in Canada go out of business before their third anniversary, and one in four new enterprises don’t survive longer than one year ("Failure Rates for New Firms").
If you’re going to start a business that has staying power, there are five resources that you must have in place before you open your literal or figurative doors. To turn a start up venture into a successful business, you must:
Successful entrepreneurs are people who are fully committed to their business ventures. You have to be prepared to put your heart and soul into what you’re doing. You have to truly believe in your product or service, and be prepared to work long hours to get others to believe in your product or service, too. You have to be ready to go without treats such as holidays, and even necessities such as salary, for what may seem like an endless stretch of time. And you have to do all this without the safety net that salaried employees are used to, such as benefits and pension plans.
Be a "Type D”
People commit themselves to all kinds of things; causes, hobbies, other people. Just being able to make a commitment doesn’t automatically lead to business success. If you’re going to get where you want to go in business, and start a business that will endure, you also have to be what I call a "Type D” person; someone who has desire coupled with drive, with strong discipline and determination.
You have to not only have the business ideas, but be able to execute them. Successful business people are tenacious; obstacles are temporary barriers to work around. They may take “No” for an answer, but only for as long as it takes them to reframe the question from another angle and ask again.
But desire and drive alone are not enough to start a business; you don’t want your business to be a temporary comet streaking across the sky. Discipline and determination are what give successful business people the endurance to follow through on their business ideas, and weather the storms and calms of the economic climate.
Knowledge is another resource you need to have in place before you start a business. Continue on to the next page to learn what types of knowledge and skills you must have if you want to start a business with staying power.