Column: Risk or regret? That is the question.

We all face various risks throughout life. We also encounter the emotional wrath of regret. When it comes to the risk of starting a business, there’s much to consider, and statistics can yield some insight.

According to a recent survey by LendingTree, the most common entrepreneurial deterrents in descending order are a lack of startup funding, anxiety/fear, not enough time to develop a sound plan/model, and being intimidated by the process/paperwork. According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, 50% of startups fail within five years, and the top two reasons are: cash flow challenges (38%) and a lack of demand (35%).

At IMPACT 307, we most frequently see that the founder did not adequately complete a thorough market assessment, i.e. the business or product was not needed in the respective market OR came up against too many (equal to or better) competitors.

The most common motivators for entrepreneurial spirited folks in descending order are that people want more purpose/passion in their work, want to build wealth, they don’t want to work for someone (a boss) anymore, friends or family members did it successfully, and finally, the pandemic.

Now, let’s explore the data exclusive to Wyoming promoting the notion of launching a startup. From March 2019 to March 2021, Wyoming saw a net increase of 540 startups (businesses opening minus businesses closing). This is significant considering the national effects of the pandemic, and lending to these startups over the same time period surpassed $1 billion statewide. Entrepreneurship is undoubtedly a key initiative in this state, as evidenced by the plethora of resources and programs/classes being offered to support hopeful founders.

According to Forbes Advisor, Wyoming is the second-best state in the U.S. to start a business overall, and ranks No. 1 in the Tax Foundation’s 2022 State Business Tax Climate Index, mainly because there are no franchise or income taxes imposed on businesses owned and operated in the state. Additionally, ours is one of only four states that provide enhanced privacy protection for businesses/owners.

But how does one get started, find the needed support and prudently combat the aforementioned deterrents, risks and failure rates?

IMPACT 307 is an entrepreneurial branch of the University of Wyoming and has thoroughly vetted and strategically placed business advisors throughout the state (serving all 23 counties) to provide free business plan formulation, value proposition validation, market research, marketing, revenue model development, cash flow analysis, referrals, and funding opportunities. We partner with like-minded, economic growth focused entities and professionals to provide a safety net for determined entrepreneurs. Collaboratively, our goal is to see that your business not only survives, but thrives (locally and beyond).

Trust me, I know that fear and anxiety are very real when it comes to taking risks, especially when there are finances, livelihoods, and our families involved. But I also know the agony of regret and the haunting “what ifs” that can plague us for years. I think, if we’re honest with ourselves, we all have regrets, and the only variable is the extent to which we give it space in our minds. If your personal ‘holy grail’ consists of turning a concept/business idea into reality, reach out.

 The only thing you stand to lose by doing so is the potential to live and work in a way that fulfills your inner purpose and passion. The choice is yours. #noregrets

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