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Learning how to start with no, rather than starting with yes or maybe, will boost your business success
The mortality rate for small businesses is scary.
Approximately seven out of 10 new small businesses survive at least two years, half almost five years, a third more than 10 years, according to research. And 25 per cent last 15-plus years.
The reasons for the high mortality rate changes little year-to-year. High on the list are insufficient funds, poor product or service, unqualified entrepreneurs, and lack of commitment.
But the most important, yet seldom discussed, reason most small businesses fail is fear of failure, according Jim Camp, author of, among other books, Start with No . That oppressive fear leads to a condition Camp calls “chronic compromise.”
Compromise is also known as “getting to yes” and “finding a win-win solution.” Chronic compromising is all about trying to please the other side, which means that you will be basing all decisions in the negotiation on an emotion – the need to be liked. Compromise-based negotiating may be the single most harmful behaviour pattern a small business owner can fall into.
The best skill entrepreneurs can learn is the same one toddlers learn when they are first testing their power. It’s saying no and inviting the other party to say no back. That’s when true discussion begins.
Learning how to start with no, rather than starting with yes or maybe, will not only boost your business success, but it will cure new business-owners from chronically compromising, a mistake that will eventually cripple their business, says Camp.
From that sturdy foundation, Camp urges new entrepreneurs to heed the following 11 business-building tips:
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