During our ‘Future of the High Street’ panel discussion on 10th August, we discussed XERO’s Make or Break Report.

The report highlights what separates successful entrepreneurs from those who fail, asking more than 2,000 business owners with 20 employees or less in the U.S. and U.K. about their experiences. Their findings uncover a host of insights and ideas to help you make it in your business. While no two business owners are exactly alike, those who succeed share the following characteristics in the way they approach running a business.

We’ve shared some of their main findings below:

  1. They don’t work around the clock: Nearly six in ten respondents (58%) cite spending time with family in the evenings as crucial to their effectiveness as a business owner, and more than half (55%) say it’s important to keep their weekends free for loved ones. That’s a far cry from the image of sleep-deprived business owners guzzling coffee at all hours to keep their company afloat.
  2. They don’t pretend to have all the answers: Have you ever turned to a mentor or support group for advice about your company? If not, maybe you should. A third of successful entrepreneurs say they have, compared to just 14% of respondents who ran businesses that had to close.
  3. They’re willing to spend money: Successful small-business owners maintain a close watch on their budgets, but they still prioritise investment in technology or strategic initiatives. Just under half (49%) spend on marketing campaigns (social media, advertising, PR), compared to 20% of those whose business failed. Nearly six in ten survivors (58%) use software to manage their finances compared to a marginal 14% of failures, and just shy of a third (31%) allocate resources to improving customer service, versus 20% of those in the failed camp.
  4. They keep their finances in order: Of those owners who cited a business issue as a reason for failure (as opposed to a personal issue), a whopping 65% blamed financial issues (cashflow visibility, access to capital).
  5. They aren’t afraid to fail: 58% of successful respondents had a corporate position before taking the plunge into entrepreneurship. Starting a small business is often just as much about the experience as being successful.

XERO Customers Less Likely to Fail and Report Increase in Sales (page 11 of the Make or Break Report) – To read Make or Break click the link below: https://www.xero.com/content/dam/xero/pdf/Xero-Make-or-break-report.pdf