Who’d be an entrepreneur?
Lots of people dream of starting and running their own business, but the statistics are pretty heart-breaking. According to research from Bloomberg, 80% of new start-ups fail within their first 18 months, undermined by a number of key weaknesses, including lack of a clear business model, lack of differentiators in the marketplace, and an inability to communicate clearly with customers.
Who’d be an entrepreneur? I don’t recall it being offered as a career option at school. How many of us were told setting out on your own is ‘unrealistic’ or ‘risky’, or that the safe option was to stay in the steady job, with the steady firm? An entrepreneur by definition is one who takes on risk, who speculates that the future can be better than the present.
A large proportion of BCMS clients fit that bill – the born entrepreneurs, who saw a gap in the market and knew just how to fill it. Our clients – who have long passed that 18-month test, and built successful, profitable business of all sizes – all have fascinating stories to tell. Some saw their first ventures fail, only to rise phoenix-like to build a better business. All saw the opportunity, and took it with both hands.
I can think of one client who was offered the lease on an unused piece of land formerly owned by the military. He accepted, and has since turned it into a multimillion pound business. Another was a director of a branch of a financial services company. When the parent company restructured, the directors bought them out. Two clients I met recently were once senior employees with the biggest company in their sector. They didn’t like the culture, and left to start out on their own, designing, developing and manufacturing a whole suite of innovative, technology-led products. A decade later, they’ve defined a new market – and are now starting to win business from their former employers…
All these clients are now looking to sell with BCMS because they have sensed another opportunity – the opportunity to seek an acquirer or investor to take their business to the next level. (And hopefully get a nice reward for their efforts, too!)
We’re all at different stages of the business lifecycle – the trick is knowing where you go next.