Real Rates of Business Survival

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Dispelling a myth

There are some stats commonly banded around in business circles saying that 8 out of 10 businesses fail within the first year, and the majority of the survivors won’t make it to year 5.

But where did this come from? And is it even true?

This is what we set out to discover for Fleximize, a company that provides alternative financing for small businesses and startups. The client was very much on the side of small businesses, and wanted to challenge the notion that such a high proportion of them fail.

It turns out, in the UK, the exact opposite is true – almost 8 out of 10 (83%) of businesses survive the first year. And half of them (49%) are still going 5 years later. And with every year a business stays in operation, its chances of survival increase.

Perhaps it’s time to lay this unhelpful myth to rest.

I was involved in the idea generation and concept development on this one, and I pitched it to the client, but I had actually left the agency by the time it went into production.

The project was then expertly guided through production by my colleague and friend, VK – and a very nice job he and the team did too!

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