Surveys show that up to 50% of UK startups fail within five years of commencing in business. Typically startups fail because they run out of cash, but the reasons for this are more complex. The abilities of the entrepreneur or management team could be one factor leading to cash flow failure, other reasons include faulty business plans, slow growth or failure to expand in the correct manner, and entering the market at the wrong time.

Some reasons for the failure of startups

The entrepreneur, or business owner, is most critical to the success of any startup and will be the driving force for the business in its early days. So, it’s important for all entrepreneurs to understand just where their strengths lie and what weaknesses they possess, this way they can run the business by playing in line with their abilities.

The strength of the business operational team is the next more important factor in the success of any startup. Having a strong management team can help improve business plans and ideas, as once the company is up and running the abilities of team members will assist in honing operations and levels of success.

Original products or ideas are absolutely no guarantee of success in business; strong implementation is the key. Many of the best entrepreneurs actually start up their business utilising ideas and business models already in the marketplace. They just make small changes and improvements to streamline the business model and make it more successful.

What is vitally important, though, for any startup is that existing demand for products or services is in place. Many startups fail due to lack of demand, so researching the marketplace and consumer demand is essential prior to starting up in business.

Access to the market can also be a stumbling block for new businesses. This is a particular issue for B2B startups if their business relies upon a lengthy tendering procedure in order to obtain orders. Startups planning to sell to larger corporations and organisations could also fail within the first couple of years due to long sales pipelines, which can be anything up to two years.

Finally, sufficient financing to ensure healthy cash flow during the first couple of years is essential for any new business.

If you’re based overseas and planning a UK startup in any sector of business, get in touch with Goodwille for information about the professional business services we provide to startups.