As detailed by Inc.com, the study used business records to examine the successes and failures of 2.8 million retail entrepreneurs in Texas over a 22-year period. Overall, most retailers struggled to stay in business longer than 24 months. Those with the most success had previously owed a business. More specifically, the study revealed that serial entrepreneurs experienced more success their second, third or fourth time around, remaining open longer with each new venture.
Interestingly, the experience of forming a business entity transferred across industries. For instance, the owner of a coffee shop who subsequently opened a dog grooming business was still more likely to succeed, even though the two businesses are not related.
"If you are an entrepreneur, you want to continue to gain experience as an entrepreneur," study author and Stanford Graduate School of Business Professor Kathryn Shaw stated. "It's really a long-term commitment. Learning from that experience can shape your future."
The study highlights there is a lot to learn about running a successful business. For those hoping to make it big on the first try, surrounding yourself with seasoned professionals is one sure way to increase the odds. From accountants to lawyers to marketers, partnering with experts in their field can help entrepreneurs avoid rookie mistakes and put their businesses in the best position to succeed.
For entrepreneurs looking to try again, the study is encouraging because it suggests that a failed business venture can actually be an asset. So rather than dwelling on your mistakes, use them to hone your craft the next time around.
In our practice, we have represented a number of entrepreneurs who had previous experiences as entrepreneurs. An important advantage that we observed they had over “rookie” entrepreneurs was the life lessons from the prior efforts: what worked, what didn’t work and their own strengths and weaknesses. For tips on increasing the success of your new venture, please check out “What Can Start-ups Learn from Google? Five Key Tips” and "Five Top Legal Tips for Startups."
If you have questions about this post or would like to discuss how to foster the success of your start-up venture, please contact Dan Brecher or the Corporate Transactions & Business attorney with whom you work.