Why is it so hard to find success when starting a new business? What ultimately causes a small business’s downfall?

Well, the answers to these questions aren’t quite so clear-cut, are they?

We know realistically that there are many extrinsic and intrinsic factors that go into a business’s success (or lack thereof). 

Daniel E. Holloway conducted a study in 2013 that ventured to answer the question of why so many small businesses fail within 5 years of conception. He interviewed a number of successful small business owners (“5 years of longevity in leading organizations with fewer than 500 employees”) from the Midwest to pinpoint their core leadership qualities in conducting their business.

Holloway found that 7 key themes emerged from these interviews, serving as categories under which the practices the individuals interviewed used in their daily business operations fell under. 

These 7 business leadership practices included:

  • Collaboration
  • Forms of communication
  • Mentoring
  • People skills
  • Networking
  • Investing in people
  • Setting an example
  • Planning

Through these interviews, it was ultimately found that small business leaders would be wise to diversify their skillset beyond the cut-and-dried technicals of running a business. 

It is imperative for a business owner to value collaboration and communication within their company— which includes coaching, mentoring, and the engagement of people for the development of viable future leader candidates. 

Future entrepreneurs may want to evaluate their own business leadership practices within their company in order to ensure their longevity and success.