DOWN TO BUSINESS
A look at small business questions from the Southwestern Oregon Community College Small Business Development Center (SBDC).
By Arlene M. Soto CMA, CGBP, Southwestern SBDC Director
Is perseverance an important trait for a business owner to have?
Success in business is often measured in terms of the length of time a business survives. A better measure might be how many small businesses thrive and provide a decent living wage for owners and employees. Estimated failure rates for small businesses vary widely, sometimes going as high as 90% in the first five years of operations.
Perseverance is defined as continuing strength or patience in withstanding difficulty. Meeting challenges is a daily requirement in business. The way business owners meet these challenges is often a sign of how successful the business will be. Many of today’s successful businesses were started by individuals who endured failure, and learned from it before they experienced success. Failure can be defined as a chance to look for a new direction. Successful business owners look for creative ways to overcome any obstacles they face.
To find the strength to persevere in business, identify a support system that works. Many business owners turn to family and friends. There are numerous small business organizations that provide networking, mentoring or educational opportunities such as the chamber of commerce or downtown association. Ask other local business owners what support system works for them. Writing a business plan will help focus ideas on a goal and planning has been shown to reduce the failure rate of small businesses.
No amount of perseverance will make a poorly defined business successful. To define the business, the following questions should be addressed as a part of a venture feasibility study or business plan: What makes the product or service unique? Why will customers buy this particular product or service? Is there any way to make the product or service unique? Will this product or service sell at a price high enough to cover all business costs and a provide profit margin?
Looking for opportunities in daily business challenges provides the strength to continue through difficulty. An open mind, a willingness to learn and a desire to serve customers are the only ways to see the opportunities that are available. Perseverance is a highly desirable trait in a small business owner.
The SBDC is a partnership of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Oregon Small Business Development Center Network, the Oregon Business Development Department and Southwestern Oregon Community College. Arlene M. Soto has been the Director of the Southwestern Small Business Development Center since July 2007. To ask a question call 541-756-6445, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or write 2455 Maple Leaf, North Bend, OR 97459. Additional help is available at the OSBDCN Web page www.bizcenter.org.