It is often said that more than half of new businesses fail during the first year. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that approximately 20% of new businesses fail during the first two years of being open, 45% during the first five years, and 65% during the first 10 years. Only 25% of new businesses make it to 15 years or more. Paul Samakow teaches us why this is important.
Why is this? Whether it’s not investing in the market, business plan glitches, or too little financing, there are hundreds of reasons as to why small businesses fail within the first year. Paul Samakow, a renowned attorney with over 40 years of experience shares some insight in an interview with Jay Feldman about how small businesses can succeed while covering all their bases. Paul started his practice over 40 years ago and has built it into a multi-million-dollar practice. As a lifelong entrepreneur, this marketing junkie, Paul has had several years of experience in growing a business from the ground up. In his book Step by Step, Achieve Small Business Success, Paul provides detailed tips on some of the biggest underestimated tools that can make or break a business.
Who is Paul Samakow?
In the interview, Paul Samakow specifies that the beginning of a business is when an individual actually takes steps to turn a business idea into reality. People often get caught up in the details and focus too much on perfection when the reality of the fact is that no product or service is going to be 100% perfect from the start. Paul talks about how in today’s social media driven world you must stand out. He calls this the Unique Selling Proposition, or USP. There are thousands of yoga classes and energy supplements out there in the market, so why yours? This is where USP comes into play.
Before you figure out what your USP is, you must identify the why. Why did you start your business? Why is this important to you? These are questions that both shape your purpose behind your business idea and make you more relatable, making potential clients be drawn to you. Another skill that is highly underestimated in the world of entrepreneurs is the art of listening. Paul considers listening to his “superpower.” Listening skills are developed over time and can seriously make or break your business connections and ability to reach your intended audience. Yes, we all listen but what sets successful people apart is that when someone else is speaking, they are not waiting for them to finish so they can blurt out what they’ve been waiting to say. Instead, they are fully listening but with a level of sincerity and integrity.
Ego is often the number one reason people fail when starting a business. They create a product or a service, and they are convinced that it’s the best out there. Often times when given feedback, shallow minded people will disregard opinions, and this unfortunately leads to the fall of a business. Paul Samakow shares that one of the best ways to receive honest feedback is via phone surveys. The key is not only to have your own good ideas but to listen to others and being willing to accept criticism and feedback. By having the “I don’t know what I don’t know” mindset, you are putting your ego on the shelf and opening your willingness to expand your product and grow your business.
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