The Surprise Secrets to Startup Success –

This week, OnlineMBA released a great infographic explaining what’s behind the failure of most startups, pointing out that only about one in ten small startups succeed. In fact, 8 out of 10 new businesses will fail within the first three years. But among those that survive, there are plenty of things they have in common.

It’s a little frightening for those who want to jump in and start their own business, but there are several reliable indicators that can help predict whether a startup will survive, or fail. These include factors that you might not expect, like family life, and even previous failures. What’s behind the success of startups that survive the first few important years? Read on to find out.

Family background plays a huge part in the early and continued success of startups. We’re pretty sure business professors aren’t going to start recommending that entrepreneurs have a spouse and children when they go to launch, but having a family is actually an indicator of future business success. So is coming from a middle class background and having more education than your parents. It seems that family can be a major motivation to push through to success in small business.

Interestingly, the one thing that entrepreneurs fear the most (failure), is something that can double your chances of success. While first time entrepreneurs have less than a 10% chance of success, entrepreneurs who have failed in the past fare much better with a 20% chance of success. Even entrepreneurs themselves have found value in failure: 40% of successful small business entrepreneurs believe that having at least one failure is “extremely important,” and 78% believe that learning from previous failures is important to present success. Although it hurts to fail, it’s smart to learn from your mistakes. If you can’t get it right the first time, move on and take your lessons with you.

Finally, flexibility is very important to small startup success. You may have an initial vision in mind, but as your business develops, you may discover that another model would work better. Throw away your stubborn tendencies and go with the flow: startups that change their model once or twice have been found to enjoy 3.6x better user growth, raise 2.5x more money, and are 50% less likely to scale prematurely than startups that haven’t changed at all. In fact, major tech icons including Apple and IBM had to change their models in the 90s just to stay alive.

What’s your plan for startup success? Can you learn from your failures and remain flexible to find the best path to launch and live to tell about it? Be sure to check out the OnlineMBA infographic for more details:

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