Monday, 3 December 2007

Success in Business Survival

Following on from my last post about the results of my entrepreneurial profiling test which drew lots of comment, here are the entrepreneur types who are MORE LIKELY to still be in business after the crucial and most difficult early first 3 years (together with my suggested reason why):

Alphapreneur (very assertive, highly ambitious and ruthless)
Bosspreneur (short term deal driven)
Dadpreneur (have built a lifestyle businesses out of a previous corporate existence where they were highly successful)
Passionpreneur (high energy, able to attract the right people and support to help them push through problems)
Sociopreneur (refuse to give up on their mission)

And the types who are LESS LIKELY to survive the first 3 year 'start up' phase:

Execpreneur (used to the corporate support system; build in way too much overhead early on instead of focussing on sales)
Mumpreneur (realise business takes a lot more time and committment than they first thought)
Safepreneur (give up when the going gets tough)

The above is not to say that these types cannot achieve business success - I'm simply highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of each type. Two thirds of all UK business start ups fail; we need to try to find ways to reduce the failure rate.

Self understanding is a good start.


Rachel Elnaugh said...

Sorry - I forgot to say/clarify - this analysis is based on the entrepreneur type of people who have taken my test and who have been in business for 3 years or more.


Anne Herbert said...


Just out of interest - are there 'compatible' types? Also is this something you would need to consider when setting up a partnership for example?



Daran said...

Interesting stats Rachel.

In some ways, the ‘Scores on the Door’ sort of explains why some ‘failed’ entrepreneurs apply to be on ‘The Apprentice’. They don’t have the passion about the product or service they provide, they just see the six-figure salary… which provides the clue on why they’ve applied to be on the show in the first place!

Rachel Elnaugh said...

Generally speaking it is far better for an entrepreneur to surround themselves with people of the same type because their brand values/ethics/culture will be a good match. This extends to employees and suppliers as well as business partners. Also, you will find that the customers you are most likely to attract are also of the same type.

Think of Anita Roddick/The Body Shop as an example - it was successful because of its brand values/ethics and only dealt with companies which shared them.

Equally a strong 'Alpha' business (think Chelsea FC) - all about money power and winning - will attract both people and followers of a similar type.



bluemonkey said...

I agree that the same types generally work better with each other due to values and perspectives.

It would be nice to join a social network (myspace/facebook) where I could connect to my Alpha brothers and sisters! If there was such a thing, could also collect geographical, lifestyle and background data to really see what influences ones entrepreneurial type.

Stephen said...

Hi Rachel,
I wonder how many of the 2500+ people who took the test were actually millionaires?

Also - there is another way of classifying "entrepreneurs". Those with integrity and those without integrity. Those with can be more easily assessed. Those without - will play any number of "preneurial" roles. From playing Alpha to Socio and beyond.
I guess that still is integrity - "being consistently inconstient" to get where you want to get to - but a lot harder to assess.
The moving target "preneur".

Rachel Elnaugh said...

Stephen, actually I think my Test is quite difficult to cheat! But I am sure there are definitely a few millionaires in there...

Bluemonkey: once I have a big enough database I hope to extend my site to enable you to connect with other 'like minded types' - if there is demand of course.



Stephen said...

Hi Rachel,

I am personally more interested in your data from the perspective of ensuring business survival vs. what makes for a happy and successful team. Much of what has been said is academic. I'd be keen to evaluate your data from the perspective of "there is a business - it is in trouble".
Where are the risks - and what can we do about it. Analysis of entrpreneurs might be of real value in that circumstance. Also, entrepreneurs need to be tested under conditions of relative stress. In both the good times and the bad times.

Ian said...

"Two thirds of all UK business start ups fail; we need to try to find ways to reduce the failure rate"

I often wonder if the systems that are in place to support and nurture businesses have the steps of success ( to tick the box that must be ticked ) in the right places.

I think a business can take steps of success and that they often need to be small ones at first. If a business owner wants to set up a business with the intent of earning £400 profit per month to pay for a holiday, when it reaches that target and does so with regularity it has succeeded.
At that point it is the owner themselves that must decide if they wish to go further.

The problem comes if the local quango that provided funding has its measure of success being that the business must reach the VAT threshold in Year 1 or 2.
It does not happen because any business plan that had “I want to earn £400 a month in profit” as a target would not get through the funding level in the first place.
I think that is a terrible shame

There is far too much emphasis on money and number of employee’s and turnover. There is pressure to do more and make more and get larger and grow.
Let people have their dreams of business and let them take that dream to whatever level they are comfortable with.

Stephen said...

Absolutely agree Ian, but the game is all about losing, losing, losing and picking up a win along the way. All about learning. learning, learning and using a small amount of this knowledge to win along the way.
All about hurting, hurting, hurting and licking your wounds to fight another day.
About ploting a trajectory only to find the market took you in an entirely different direction and maybe you earnt more money than you could ever have believed. About surprising obstacles, scary moments and weird reflections of thein self.

What price "the self made entrepreneur?"

cheers I.

philipj said...

Hi Rachel,

Just wonders if this "compartmentalises" people too much; much like the 16 states of Jung in Myers-Briggs.

IMHO, Myers-Briggs is hopelessly out-of-date and has been superseded by more accurate non-compartmental models such as Singer-Loomis.