Jason has spent over 25 years providing operational and financial expertise in leadership positions for rapidly growing companies such as Conversant (MOSAID), AVID Technologies, and IBM (Cognos). He started Positive Venture Group with the mission to help growth-stage businesses reach their full potential.
“Most entrepreneurs start a venture because they feel passionately about a product or service that they want to bring to market but many of these ventures are unsuccessful because “business” gets in the way.”
It is common to see articles in the business press about the fact that 90-95% of start-ups fail.
Most of these publications highlight the many reasons that cause this failure rate and they try to identify a single cause. Generally, it boils down to lack of funding, difficulty acquiring customers or lack of talent. However, these causes are more indicative of a symptom versus the cause itself which is often more systemic.
It is not a surprise that most businesses in the early stages are founder powered. Founders are the ones that often design the product or service, build the team, raise the money, support the messaging, and sign the first customers. In the early days they are the company. The problem with this is, no matter how much energy or effort new business owners put forward, there are only 24 hours in a day and 7 days a week.
The time they have available to them is something that doesn’t scale. There comes a point, where every business needs to stop starting up and focus on scaling. The sooner this is done, the more successful the venture will be.
Founders are hesitant to invest in the people, processes and systems they need to enable scalability during the early stages of their business. This is an inflexion point that can be difficult for the company and often leads to failure. If an investment is made, they often struggle to “let go” and trust the people they’ve hired, the processes they’ve established and the systems they have implemented.
I tell the founders who I work with that if you build a successful, scalable business, you will have no shortage of investors, customers and employees wanting to work with you. However, too often business owners are distracted by treating the symptoms: chasing investors, customers and employees.
These distractions prevent them from spending adequate time on building a successful business and is a critical systemic cause of failure that founders need to understand in order to fast track their company’s growth.