Improving your odds

People with prior experience who thoroughly think through their new business in advance have a far greater chance of success than those who have not.

So before launching a venture of your own, try to find someone in the same industry to talk to about what it takes to be successful. Strongly consider gaining experience by working (or even volunteering) for a similar business, ideally a successful leader in the field.

Find out if there are trade associations you can join in that particular industry. These steps will help you understand what it takes to profitably run that kind of business.

Did you know…

  • Less than 50 percent of all new businesses last more than two years?
  • 95% of all business failures are caused by the business owner’s lack of experience and expertise?

Your personal finances — how much cash and credit you can draw on — may also affect your odds for business success. If possible, build up enough start-up capital from all sources to make it through the first three years. See the lesson Start-up financing to learn more.

Click the Next button to see if you possess the qualities of a successful entrepreneur.