Whichever way you voted on the Brexit issue and however strongly you feel about it, the one thing that seems pretty clear is that the task facing this and successive governments is challenging to say the least. Much of what has to be done is completely uncharted territory. None of our leaders will have much if any experience in this. The same can be said for many people starting their own small business.
Whilst they may be a great plumber, hairdresser, cook or printer, running a business involves a skillset that most people don’t have and are not taught. Even worse than that is that in most cases, they simply ‘don’t know what they don’t know!’
Imagine going on a long journey without sat nav or a map – yet some people manage it. On a recent edition of BBC’s Dragons’ Den, one of the Dragons scolded the person pitching for not being prepared to put in the hard graft with the phrase…’you have to knock down every barrier that gets in your way.’
When experts are asked why many small businesses fail, they often suggest insufficient finance, lack of experience, too small a market, fierce competition – yet history is replete with stories of successful startups who in the face of every possible obstacle – still managed to succeed.
I have always argued that persistence is the key, but I now feel that it is a bit more subtle than that. People can persist forever – long past the time when they should have got out – but always fail to deal with the real issues.
Persistence, whilst essential, isn’t enough on its own. The key is identifying the real barriers to success and then find a solution to them.