Business isn’t for the faint hearted. Roughly only 20 percent of businesses are still in operation after their first year.
The good news for those who are is that the longer a business lasts, the more likely it is to continue lasting.
Survival rates for businesses
- 1 year – 21.4%
- 2 years – 31.4%
- 3 years – 38.4%
- 4 years – 44.0%
- 5 years – 48.6%
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics: Business Employment Dynamics Figures related to businesses started in 2010.
Also according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:
- About 50 percent of all new businesses survive five years or more
- About one-third survive 10 years or more.
Most successful companies live between 40 and 50 years.
Snapshot of some of the world’s most successful companies of various ages
- Founded: September 2011.
- Worth: Approximately $25 billion.
- Clients (users): Approximately 166 million daily active users.
- Employees: Approximately 330.
- Annual revenue: Approximately $400 million.
- Founded: February 2004.
- Worth: Approximately $435 billion (though this jumped substantially after acquiring Instagram).
- Clients (users): Approximately 23 million daily active users.
- Employees: 17,000+.
- Annual revenue: Approximately S27 billion.
- Founded: July 1994.
- Worth: Approximately $427 billion.
- Clients: 244 million active yearly users.
- Employees: Approximately 341,000.
- Annual revenue: Approximately $2 billion.
- Founded: April 1976.
- Worth: Approximately $750 billion.
- Clients: Reportedly $1 billion active Apple devices in 2016.
- Employees: Approximately 47,000 in the US, reportedly more than ten times that indirectly.
- Annual revenue: $215 billion.
- Founded: 1962.
- Worth: Approximately $250 billion.
- Clients: In nearly 60 countries.
- Employees: Approximately 2.3 million.
- Annual revenue: Approximately $485 billion
Six tips for longevity in business
In 2015 when Crown Worldwide Group, who enjoys a turnover of more than $800 million, reached its 50th anniversary, founder Jim Thompson shared with Entrepreneur magazine six tips to building a business that will last decades:
1.Be in for a bumpy ride
“It is rarely ever a smooth ride. You have to be the type of person that will persevere and push through all of those challenges,” he said.
2. Have a plan and know how much it will cost
“Having a plan and knowing where you are going is key for any new business, and part of that is having adequate funding.
“Just how much you need is difficult to define because it depends on what type of business you are running. In our case we started out with very little capital but in the modern era, I wouldn’t recommend that.”
3. Know your core values
“It is easy to think core values are something you only worry about when the business is already successful. But in fact the reverse is true: Core values are what make you successful in the first place.”
4.Learn to delegate and choose good people
“It is not possible to do everything yourself in a successful business – you need to delegate.
5. Determination is more important than education
“A degree of formal education is helpful for anybody and I encourage it. But having a degree is not an essential part of being successful as an entrepreneur. The qualities you do need are a lot of stamina and determination.”
6. Don’t sell too quickly
“Retain ownership of your business if you can. Don’t give it away or sell too early.
“So many entrepreneurs today say, ‘I’m going to run it for five years then sell it.’ But I don’t think that’s what true entrepreneurs do. Instead, that’s being a speculator.”