There’s a statistic that get’s thrown around which states that 80% of small businesses fail (close) within a year of being born. It goes on further to say that of the remaining 20%, 80% will fail within 5 years. Scary thoughts and even without doing an empirical study many would agree that it’s somewhere close to the truth. What’s even more interesting are the reasons why these businesses fail and our focus today is why the founders give up on their businesses. We have 7 reasons which you will surely find relatable if you’ve ever started a business, whether it failed or not.

Expecting quick results

Starting a business is a daunting but not impossible task. For many, the process starts with assumptions you have from outside the industry and as you start to operate things dawn on you about why things have been happening the way they’ve been happening. Those who come in expecting quick results are often confronted by how much time it takes to get things going let alone get things right. They say an overnight success takes around 10  years to build and this is the sort of approach you need to find staying power in business.

Dwell on mistakes

We all make mistakes and nowhere does that happen more than in business. I often remark that “I have experience” is a euphemism for “I’ve made mistakes”. Business is one of the few areas where one gets rewarded for making mistakes if you have the right approach. The wrong approach, in this case, is dwelling on the mistakes we make. The important thing is to grasp the lessons from our mistakes and use them.

Resist change

One of the most confronting things, when we get into business, is dealing with change. Change comes from so many sources in business and it is sometimes quite daunting. For example, you may start a business with a particular idea in mind but the market may prefer you offer something else. Change can also come in law, environment, culture and many other ways. Resisting change is futile and it will eventually take its toll on you and the business.

Give up their power

This one goes well with the previous point. Giving up your power is the act of placing responsibility and authority outside of yourself. Yes, there are external forces that bring about change and influence your environment. As long you can respond to the changes you still have power and it’s important to acknowledge and use it. Once people believe their success or failure comes from sources other than their actions it’s a slippery slope.

Feel the world owes them something

I am always disheartened when I see people in business go on tirades about how people do not support their businesses. I am of the school of thought that it is in fact businesses which support people. Let me explain. A baker supports the community by providing bread and confectionery. A mobile network operator supports people by providing access to the world wide web. An insurer supports people by providing risk management through their products. People flock to those who provide this support at the right value proposition. Coming into the business assuming people owe you their support or anything for that matter is a recipe for disaster.


Running a business is hard work but overworking is a real risk in business, especially in today’s social media-influenced hustle culture world. Success in business and life is more often a product of longevity than intensity. Working yourself flat out to a point where the quality of output starts to suffer or worse still you can’t go on will make things hard for you. So remember that rest is part of the plan and something is best done before you are tired.

Assume their problems are unique

This isn’t a problem limited to business. It is more common than not for people to believe that their problems are unique and completely new to the world. The reality is there is nothing quite new or unique under the sun. Of course, this assumption prevents people from seeking help or heeding advice when it is given. Some end up giving up on businesses that someone had the solution for.

As someone who has started businesses that failed I found myself relating to many of these reasons. If you relate to any of those I hope the advice has not come too late for your business.