Many a venture has failed due to a lack of resources. According to so and so, most businesses are underfunded, according to someone else, most business fail due to poor management, according to the guy selling business planning software, it’s the lack of planning that leads most failures to the brink. According to my own research, surveys show that the over 120% of statistics are exaggerated! In case you didn’t take statistics in school, that was a joke – I like to point out my humor as I know I can’t afford to lose even the smallest chuckle.
I don’t care what the statistics say – anytime anyone quotes the SBA, or the National Association of Charging Businesses to Belong, (I think it’s NACBB), I ask one or two more questions and never get any more answers – just headlines, really. So what does it take to make a business work? What resources do you really need to open or grow a business? This is a question I have been both asking and taking stabs at answering for over twenty years.
First up, I don’t buy the blaming. It’s never a lack of money. It’s never too much government regulation, lazy employees, a jerk for a landlord or stupid customers who don’t appreciate your quality. I’ve been through all of those personally, and I promise that while all the above may make grown men cry like a congressman, they are not valid or acceptable business failure reasons. Those are the excuses we create to soften the blow to our egos for a while, but the reason a business fails is because of the owner; no one else has the job of being responsible for the business. You will notice I didn’t say the blame belongs to the owner, just the reason. Sometimes, closing a business is a good decision and can be something to be proud of, not ashamed of. If a business model no longer makes sense, or the market disappears and the business has no interest or talent in developing a new product line for a new market, then only an ego-driven maniac would continue indefinitely.
Certainly, resources are needed; not just financial, technical knowhow and marketing savvy, but also emotional stamina, never-ending creativity and general resourcefulness. If you were a manufacturer of buggy whips when the new “horseless carriage” came out, you could have gone out of business and blamed the auto-industry. Or, you could have come up with one of the bazillion auto-related accessories to manufacture instead. If you closed, it’s not the lack of demand that drove you out of business; it’s your lack of desire to continue with something new that drove you out. You see, I’m not picking on owners to place blame; blame never empowers. Rather I’m trying to create a gift – by making it clear that you and only you have the power to make it work. Responsibility empowers. Don’t let foreign competition, or a slow economy, or competition decide for you. If you’re ready for a new chapter in your life, move on or move up. Even when most people are down, there’s always someone who is up. That could be you. If you’re ready to commit to do whatever it takes, then assume responsibility and call on your own resourcefulness.
Coming from a place of no tangible resources myself, I find that resources are not nearly as important as resourcefulness.