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Small Business Failure. Reading the Warning Signs. Introduction. Tom Cochrane, TKC Solutions Advisory Services to Small Business Owners Institute for Independent Business Non Profit Worldwide network of over 3000 associates. Small Business Failure.

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Small business failure

Small Business Failure

Reading the Warning Signs


  • Tom Cochrane, TKC Solutions

    • Advisory Services to Small Business Owners

  • Institute for Independent Business

    • Non Profit

    • Worldwide network of over 3000 associates

Small business failure1
Small Business Failure

  • Alarming yet incredibly consistent statistics from the US, the UK, Canada

  • Failure rates in the 95% range in the first five years

  • Why?

Why do people start a small business
Why do people start a small business?

  • Independence

  • They are tired of working for someone else.

  • Challenge

  • Small business ownership requires a great deal of responsibility. Some people thrive on that.

  • Prestige

  • Small business ownership offers community recognition. First as a successful business operator, and later as a contributor to the economic and social welfare of the entire community.

  • No Restrictions

  • There are no restrictions and few prerequisites for small business ownership.

Why do people start a small business1
Why do people start a small business?

  • In small business a large percentage of new owners are over 50 years-old. Most have been “right-sized” and they have their severance pay or early retirement in hand and are looking for an opportunity that doesn't carry age discrimination with it.

  • Race is not a factor in small business. Neither is gender. As a matter of fact, women are starting small businesses at 6 times the rate of men.

Failure points
Failure Points

  • Start Up

  • Owner Saturation

Owner saturation
Owner Saturation

  • Hustle is no longer enough

    • Fatigue

    • Questioning the Dream

Owner saturation1
Owner Saturation

  • Marketing / Strategy

    • Customers of all shapes, sizes and whoever bought first

    • No idea of who they are, what makes them unique

    • No focus on how to grow, where, with who(m)

Owner saturation2
Owner Saturation

  • Operational Chaos without the owner

  • No clue on how to hire

  • No clue on how to incent people

Owner saturation3
Owner Saturation

  • Financial and Operational Controls

    • “Quickbooks Phenomenon”

  • No instruments, no training for bad conditions

Owner saturation4
Owner Saturation

  • Undercapitalized- WHY?

Owner saturation5
Owner Saturation

  • Undercapitalized

  • No idea on what their rationale is for growing- No plan, no market focus, ‘just another (store, dry cleaner, trucker, manufacturer…etc)’

  • Without that, they wouldn’t loan themselves money, much less ask for it

Start ups
Start Ups

  • Dreams , not plans

  • All the same problems as owner saturation, just in embryonic form

  • Corporate Background is almost completely counter productive for entrepreneurs

What we do
What We Do

  • Institute for Independent Business created the “Business Support Program”

  • Outreach program for owners

  • Network of Experienced (Old) Associates

Business support program
Business Support Program

  • Owners Do not Fail due to

    • Lack of Smarts

    • Lack of Hard Work

  • Help for what they don’t know is hard to find

  • Advisory Program as opposed to consulting


  • Metals Industry

    • Declining Market

  • Trucker Start Up

    • Plan for distinctiveness

    • Schedule and targets for new equipment

  • Software Consultancy

  • Landscaper

Thanks for your attention
Thanks For Your Attention

  • Tom Cochrane

    • TKC Solutions

    • 503-635-7741



    • Referrals are always appreciated….