There are so many stats about how many businesses fail which I could quote right now, but we’re more about exploring solutions as opposed to highlighting problems here. So to counteract what is generally a negative approach to reporting on the non(success) of new businesses, I’m going to bring into focus some of the key characteristics which have become apparent from our observation of those businesses that have stood the test of time.

So what exactly are these characteristics which are common to those businesses which have stood the test of time, surviving through the different cycles of the market?


There’s a nice little saying I like to make reference to whenever I personally feel as if things aren’t quite panning out the way they should be, which goes like “An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field!” It kind of brings things back into perspective and makes it that much easier to take the effects of mistakes made on the chin and move along.

This is called building up pedigree and pedigree is indeed one of the traits of a business that stands the test of time. Often that pedigree isn’t just carried in the name of the business, but in its history, culture and most importantly, in the hearts of its founder(s).

You build up pedigree by getting into the mix and showing up to fight your fight.

Problem-solving foundation

This is a very important trait to develop as somewhat of a habitual characteristic because this is what sets businesses which can weather just about any economic storm apart from those which are destined to fail at the first sign of a market down-cycle. A business that stands the test of time is constructed on a foundation of problem-solving – offering effective solutions to a problem which exists or to a problem many consumers who have that problem didn’t even know they had it until it was pointed out.

I’m not talking here about how consumer goods manufacturers in the health and beauty sector try to make you feel like you’re not good enough and then proceed to sell you beauty products which are supposedly meant to make you look and feel better. What I’m talking about is offering a solution to a problem which the market definitely had, but couldn’t quite put their finger on the source of that problem.

To drive the point home with a real-world example, take Janovic into account, an interior design services expert which harbours the unique ability to deliver complete solutions as a result of their direct involvement in the production of every single cog that comes together to make up the complete solution. Fundamentally, all that the service provider is doing is offering an effective set of solutions to a set of problems people have.

It’s really just a matter of if you could do a professional job doing up your interiors, you wouldn’t need to rope in such services, but those who’ve perhaps tried it themselves will tell you that there is a clear difference when you rope in the seasoned professionals.

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