Bureau Of The Census Small Business Survival Rates

Four years is a coin toss

They could be better, and they could be worse.  But either way, some stats regarding the survival rate of small businesses is here, and it seems that less than 30 percent of companies last 10 years.

Scott Shane collected the information from the Bureau of the Census and put it in a Small Business Trends article.  Essentially, for every 100 small businesses started in 1992, an average of 75 were alive in ’93, 50 made it to ’96, and by the time 2002 rolled around, only 29 were remaining.

It’s possible that some of the businesses closed because the owner got insanely rich and retired, or perhaps just chose to pursue another business.  Shane rules out a widespread occurrence of the more positive possibilities, however.

What makes things even worse is that the ’90s are looked upon as a relatively profitable time; words like "recession" and "inflation" didn’t get mentioned on the news every night.  A survival chart started more recently might head downward at a faster pace.

Remember, though, that this is data of an "FYI" variety.  Results are bound to vary in different regions and markets, and Shane’s graph, in and of itself, can’t have any effect on small businesses.

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