How to double the chances of your business surviving five years

Want to give your new business the best chance of success? Find out why mentoring will double your chance of making it to five years.

If you’re considering launching a business, then discovering that 50% of startups fail in their first two years is probably a little disconcerting. But while it’s true that many businesses do go under before they ever really get going, plenty don’t. You just need to make sure you’re in the right 50%.

But how do you do that?

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According to the US Small Business Administration (SBA), the answer is simple: get a mentor.

Mentored businesses have double the survival rate

Indeed, according to research, “70 percent of small businesses that receive mentoring survive more than five years – double the survival rate of non-mentored businesses.”

And it’s not just the SBA that believes that mentoring makes a significant different to businesses’ survival rates. The Prince’s Trust produced a report outlining why mentoring is so important to the success of new businesses.

Mentoring service MicroMentor also found that: “49% of pre-launch businesses that received mentoring actually ended up started their businesses, and 82% survived for 1-2 years… that’s 13% higher than the average new business survival rate in the U.S.”

They discovered too that businesses who received mentoring increased their revenue by an average of 106%, compared to an increase of just 14% in those who did not receive mentoring.

Why does mentoring make such a big difference?

So why does mentoring make such a big difference? We think there are several reasons:

  • You get help to define a roadmap for your business to follow.
  • You get motivation and accountability.
  • You get an invaluable objective opinion on your business.
  • You get emotional and practical support.
  • You get the opportunity to work ON not IN your business.

How can you get the benefits of mentoring?

So how you can YOU get a mentor, and get your business off to a healthy start? And what makes a great mentor anyway?

A great mentor may be someone who has a defined role as a mentor (there are a number of organisations who will pair you up with a mentor – at varying levels of cost). They may also be someone you admire, someone experienced in business who offers to support you in an informal capacity – although we’d recommend agreeing some kind of consistency of meeting to really reap the rewards. Unstructured, ad hoc catch ups won’t deliver the same results.

A mentor can also be a business coach. We ourselves invest in business coaching – and have seen significant business progress as a result. Great business coaches aren’t cheap, but are worth the investment.

We recommend choosing your coach carefully; find someone who ‘gets’ your business and you feel you can work with. Coaches usually offer commitment-free phone, online or face-to-face initial consultations to get a feel whether your relationship will work.

Get a year’s worth of mentoring support from us

You can also sign up to a programme like Kickstart – our year-long online business course. Kickstart guides you through your first year in business, giving you all the benefits of mentorship, including:

  • A roadmap to follow as you plan and implement your business strategy.
  • Motivation and accountability.
  • The opportunity to share your work and plans for objective opinions.
  • Emotional and practical support with live video classes, a private Facebook group and online support.
  • The opportunity to work ON your business.

In addition to mentoring support, Kickstart gives you:

  • Clarity and calmness as you focus on one area of your business every month.
  • A reassuring sense of progress as you work through each step of building your business in turn.
  • Practical lessons in skills like copywriting, social media, sales and PR.
  • A team of people at the same stage of business as you to share your journey with.

“Kickstart gives you a structure to focus on one thing and get it right”

Here’s what Kickstart member Jennie Adams has to say about the benefits she’s noticed:

“When you start a business you need to invest in something that’s going to help you create a structure. I really floundered at the beginning; I didn’t know what to do when.

Kickstart gives you a structure to focus on one thing, do it really well and get it right. It really helps you not be overwhelmed, because that happens too easily in the early days.” 

(You can watch a full video interview with Jennie here.)

Want to give your new business the strongest possible start? Find out more about how Kickstart will mentor you through your first year.