5 Courageous Business Moves To Help Your Company Survive

By Al Zdenek

Do you have the guts and the courage to have your business succeed? The government doubts it.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, over 50% of small businesses fail within their first year of operation. 95% fail within the first five years. That is 19 out of every 20 small businesses in the country. If that sounds outrageous, that’s because it is!

The ugly truth is, many businesses on the failure side of these statistics could avoid this fate if the entrepreneurs who started them had the courage to make the strategic business moves necessary to ensure a higher probability of survival.

There are many reasons why businesses fail, to be sure. But in my experience working with business owners, I’ve found there are five top actions any entrepreneur can take to improve their fortunes when the outlook is dim. The common ingredient to all five? Courage.

There are five top actions any entrepreneur can take to improve their fortunes when the outlook is dim. Click To Tweet
  1. Know when to pivot.

So you started the business believing that everyone would need another online clothing retailer. But the public hasn’t seemed particularly interested in buying your version of denim jeans, denim shirts, denim everything! However, they all seemed to go wild for your side-line of personalized socks and ties. You could beat your head against the wall, or go with what you can sell. It is time to pivot.

  1. Fire that lousy employee.

In their book Who, authors Geoff Smart and Randy Street explain that a bad employee costs multiple times their salary in lost revenue. I know you may want to give them another chance, or maybe you have convinced yourself you can’t replace them. You can, and should. Have the courage to show them the door.

  1. Ask yourself: “Am I in over my head?”

You didn’t realize running a business could be so complicated. Every day a handful of new set of issues hits you. Entrepreneurs are notoriously driven and confident—perhaps even proud and stubborn. It won’t be easy, but have the intestinal fortitude to ask for help when you need it. Find a mentor, form an advisory board, and certainly surround yourself with trusted experts.

  1. Replace your partner.

As an entrepreneur, I have had partners who did not add anything to the growth of the business. They may be an old and cherished friend, but that does not mean you have to carry them if they are not contributing. As nicely as possible, get rid of them. This can take a lot of courage, but it is either them or your business. The choice is yours.

  1. Know when to step down (or sell).

Entrepreneurs are great at starting and building organizations from the ground up, but many are lousy at consistently running an established business. It may hurt—it may be one of the toughest decisions you ever make—but know when it is time to let someone else run it. Know when to hold them or fold them, as the song says. Maybe you will start another!

I recently took this fifth lesson to heart in my own life. Facing the fact that I was unable to take my business to the next level, I decided to sell. It was a very tough decision, but I understood that my team, my clients, and my family would benefit by getting more managerial talent than I had to offer. That reality made selling the clear best decision.

Do you have the courage to make the proper moves to help your company survive?


Al Zdenek is a speaker, wealth advisor, CEO and best-selling author of Master Your Cash Flow: The Key To Grow And Retain Wealth with ForbesBooks. Learn more at AlZdenek.com.

Are you our next author?

Learn More