On 1 July 2019, I launched my book Starting a Business – With Facts, Not Faith, and what a great learning exercise that was. Did you know that “everything published in New Zealand regardless of whether it has an International Standard Number” must by law be submitted to the NZ National Library? This must be done via Legal Deposit for the purposes of preserving our heritage. Ignoring the effort I put into writing the book, it seems a little presumptuous of its supposed value, but never mind, I followed the law.

So why did I write the thing? I have written before about modestly giving back to the community, and all that stuff is true. So is the possibility of helping to preserve prospective entrepreneur’s, and therefore, the community’s wealth. What I mean by that is this; if someone does their homework and takes a calculated risk to start a business then that’s great! The Kiwi give it a good go spirit in action! If on the other hand, people are simply giving it a go without the homework, then that I’m sad to say is called gambling. And with gambling, the house, or in our case, the indifferent business universe, always wins. Ok, maybe the business universe doesn’t win so much as the budding entrepreneur loses big time – the result is the same.

I looked up the statistics available on New Zealand business demography statistics: At February 2018. There you will find a Table 7 – Enterprise births by employee count size group.

That table, which covers the period 2009 to February 2018 is revealing. In the 12 months leading to February 2018, approximately 9,510 enterprises had been born, that’s almost 800 per month. Furthermore, Table 12 suggests that around 20% of businesses don’t make it to their first and 50% to their third birthday. For the new-borns, that’s 1,902 per year or 158 per month, or 26 per day that are dying before their first cake-day.

The point is this; there are a lot of people starting businesses (enterprises), and there are a lot of people quitting businesses. To create any business takes resources, most commonly money, time, and effort. Unless those behind the 60,300 enterprise deaths define theirs as a valuable learning experience, then I’m guessing from their perspective, that they wasted a lot of money, time, and effort. Let’s ignore for now the stimulating effect their spending may have had on the economy; that stimulating effect may, however, be negated by debt left with their suppliers (that’s for another post, maybe).

Finally, to the purpose of the book.

The purpose of the book is to help prospective entrepreneurs be successful when starting a business. The approach I have taken is fact-based as opposed to faith-based. Wishful thinking that leads entrepreneurs to in effect gamble is strongly discouraged. Instead, a structured and methodical approach is laid out. If my book can convert the gamblers into astute entrepreneurs, then my book will be a success.

I’ll finish with a favourite quote that I repeat often and without apology, “[b]uild it and they will buy is not a strategy, it is a prayer,” “you cannot create a market or customer demand where there isn’t customer interest.” The Four Steps to the Epiphany, Steve Blank.

For a complimentary copy, click on Starting a Business – With Facts, Not Faith.


July 2019