Saturday, January 17, 2015

How Long Will Your Business Live?

Every living organism dies. This is a fact of life. Some species have a higher age on average than others. Even within the same species, populations may have different average ages depending on which habitat they are living in. Finally, individual organisms from the same species and living in the same habitat would vary in lifespan due to being predated upon, dying from disease or illness ,or changes in the habitat conditions or competition over resources. In all cases, dying is an inevitable consequence of life.

It is often that people starting new businesses are oblivious to the fact that their business will eventually come to an end and die one day. Yes this day might surpass the lifespan of the founder of the business himself or herself, but still each and every business does have an age no matter how long it is. Like in the living world of living organisms, businesses too vary greatly in lengths of their lives. A business may live over one hundred or even two hundred years while others may survive for 40 or 20 years, still others would not live more than a few years and in some cases a few months.

Success of a business is generally attributed to the length of time it can survive in the marketplace. This concept indeed has a lot of merit to it yet it is not always the case. Some businesses can be very successful financially even though they are designed to be short lived. They make profit in a short period of time and that profit can be funneled into other businesses later on. In some cases, their startup business may even be consumed by a larger organization. It is therefore advisable that when one is designing a new business he or she does not exclude the idea of designing a short lived type of business. Even if designing for a long lived business type, it is worthy to understand that no matter how long this business would survive, there would come a day when it would be over. Therefore, it is advisable to think how this business would be making a difference not only financially but also in the other spheres of life for its owners, employees, customers and the whole ecosystem it is living in on the financial, social and ecological spheres.