8.14.2014

A Tale of Two Cities... I mean, Tips

Inc. recently published an article on a recent Brookings Institutions report that throws some cold water on starting a business:
You'd think that an increasing share of businesses sticking around for more years would be a good thing. But longer business survival rates are coming at the expense of startups, whose share is shrinking in proportion to the growing number of more entrenched firms. 
That's the news from a July Brookings Institution report, entitled The Other Aging of America, about the aging of American businesses, published by Ian Hathaway, founder of economics research company Ennsyte Economics, and Robert Litan, a Brookings scholar. They found, by examining U.S. Census Bureau data, that the percentage of companies surviving past 16 years rose to more than a third in 2011 from about 25 percent in 1992, a 50 percent increase in the two decades surveyed. 
By contrast, the number of startups created over the last 30 years has decreased dramatically, from about 15 percent in 1978 to about 8 percent in 2011. (On the plus side, business failure rates have bounced around a lot, and although they are actually on the rise again, they are a bit lower than they were 30 years ago.) 
In other words, it's harder and harder to be a so-called disruptor, particularly in industries where there are a lot of large, established players. 
Sounds like maybe trying to start a business right now is ill-advised, huh? Nope, not so fast. The very same Inc. also suggests that one of the 10 reasons why now is the best time to start your business is precisely because of that Brookings Institution report:
3. Entrepreneurship has been on the decline.
As researchers at the Brookings Institution have shown, entrepreneurship has been on a decline in this country for decades. The rate at which new businesses start has fallen below the rate at which they close. The reason isn't exactly clear, but it doesn't have to be. Fewer startups mean less competition for money, people, attention, and customers.
So have it... do as you will, entrepreneurs.  Based on that Brookings report, you are either going to fail or going to succeed.



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