Buck the Trend: 65% of Small Businesses Won't Make it to Year 10

Buck the Trend: 65% of Small Businesses Won't Make it to Year 10 Real Estate Small Business Coach Jeremy Williams Red Hawk Coaching Survive Scale Soar

Written By: Coach Jeremy Williams, Owner and Head Coach at Red Hawk Coaching

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In 2010, I was working with a business owner who was deeply involved in a networking organization. This time commitment was taking away from their business, and as a result, their business suffered greatly. 

They decided to step into coaching, and after the first few sessions, they began to make changes in where they committed their time. More time was focused on the activities that drove their business. Within a year, this business owner went from making $30,000 a year to over $200,000 a year. It was simple changes that started with building a solid business plan and building the schedule of a winner.

Have you ever felt like you were doing the wrong things in your business, or like you were doing the right things but not getting any results? If so, hiring a business coaching company can help. Coaches have a lot of experience and can ask you the right questions to help you unlock your potential and make better decisions for your business.

I am often asked, "Coach Jeremy, where do I start?" This question requires a two-part solution. First, you must have a business plan. Second, you must have the schedule of a winning business. Without a powerful business plan and a winner's schedule, you are putting your business at significant risk. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS, has a sobering set of statistics in regards to the success of small businesses.

  • 20% of all new businesses will fail in the first two years
  • 45% of new businesses will fail in five years
  • 65% of new businesses will fail in ten years
  • Only 25% of new businesses make it to 15 years or more

These statistics are a large driver of why I coach small business owners. I don't want to see you fail, and hiring a coach helps you mitigate risks and navigate the waters, both rough and smooth, of the world. You need a plan. You need a winner's schedule.


Create A Powerful Business Plan for Your Small Business



You've probably heard the saying, "If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there." Any road might get you there, yet is that really how you want to run your business? Without a plan in place, you'll find yourself wandering, not sure which direction to take next. That's why it's important to create a powerful business plan.

This process doesn't have to be difficult or time-consuming. I'm going to walk you through the steps right now. Once you have a plan in place, it's important to track your progress and make adjustments as needed.

Having a plan is essential for any small business owner. With a roadmap in hand, you can confidently navigate your way to success!


STEP 1 - Creating a Powerful Business Plan for Your Small Business - Establish a Goal



The first step to creating a powerful business plan for your small business is to establish a goal. Notice I did not say goals. You can have multiple goals across different areas of your life, yet you should only focus on one goal at a time in each area. The areas of life include: personal, business, financial, relationship, and Spiritual.

I am going to ask you to establish one goal for your business. Having coached small business owners since 2010, a business goal often ties back to money. A successful business requires being profitable so there should be no guilt in wanting to money in your business. The mistake most will make is they choose a Gross Income number as a goal and it should be the NET Income.


Gross Income vs NET Income


What is the difference between Gross Income and NET Income?

Gross Income includes your wages, dividends, capital gains, business income, retirement distributions as well as other income.

Net Income is what you as the business owner have left after all expenses, including salary and wages, cost of goods or raw materials, and taxes. For an individual, net income is often referred to as "take-home" money after deductions for taxes, health insurance, and retirement contributions.

While your one goal as a business owner is net income, you will need to work backward to calculate the gross income required to get to your NET Income.


Convert Your Gross Income to the Number of People You Need to Serve or Product You Must Sell


Now that you know the gross income you must achieve to arrive at your NET Income, you will want to convert that number to the number of people you need to serve or the product you must sell to achieve that number. This is a critical component of developing your powerful business plan that gets results because your goal must be relatable if you're going to share it.

Share it???

Yes, you must have a goal to focus your activities on, and you must share it with others because it will take a village to get you there. When you share a goal with others, they are not going to be interested in your gross income and NET Income goals. In some cases, you might even offend them. People can relate to relationships and units over money.

Here is an example of a simplified goal for a service business like selling real estate. You have a gross income goal after working backward from your NET Income of $200,000 a year. The average gross commission per home sold is $10,000. Your goal would be to close 20 homes in 12 months. Now you're going to take this goal of selling 20 homes and convert it into a stated goal that can be shared with past clients, prospective clients, and your sphere of influence.

Your stated goal for the above example may be: My goal in the next twelve months is to help 20 families with most likely the biggest financial decision they will ever make and that is buying a home, selling a home, or building their real estate investment portfolio. Who do you know that I can help today? How can I help you?

Here is an example of a simplified goal for a product business that sells widgets. You have a gross income goal after working backward from your NET Income of $500,000 a year. You would need to sell 1,429 widgets at $350 each to reach your gross income goal in the next 12 months. Like the previous example, you will humanize your goal so that it can be shared with others.

Your stated goal for this example might look like this: In the next 12 months, I will be able to significantly impact the lives of 1,500 (Let's be real in that sharing the number 1,429 is a little weird. Don't be afraid to round up.) people by creating leverage in their lives with my widget. Who do you know that could use my widget? Who would this widget help?

Notice in the examples of services or widgets being sold, that I did not reference gross or NET Income in the stated goal. By humanizing your goal, you can now bring others along with you in support of your one goal.

When you choose to hire Red Hawk Coaching to coach your small business, knowing your numbers is going to be a priority. Knowing your numbers will help you make better decisions in your business. Connect with me to learn more about knowing your numbers, and how that can change the trajectory of your business.


STEP 2 - Creating a Powerful Business Plan for Your Small Business - Create Your Levers


Develop 3 to 5 Lead Generation Levers or Distribution Channels that Support Your One Goal


Now that you have the one goal for your business established, it is now time to add the levers (services) or distribution channels (widgets) that support your goal. Let's clear the air before diving deeper into this topic. No matter if you have a service business or a widget business, or the defined role you have in your company, all business people are salespeople. When you think about lead generation levers or distribution channels, think of these overarching things to be that which drive your business towards the one goal.

Here is an example of lead generation levers for a real estate business.

  • Social Media
  • Open Houses
  • Door Knocking
  • Business-2-Business
  • Networking
  • Community Events
  • Speaking Engagements
  • Online Lead Capture Programs

Know that is a limited list of lead generation levers that can be used by real estate agents to build their business. A real estate agent's business should be lead generation focused and marketing enhanced. An individual real estate agent should have a minimum of 3 and no more than 5 lead generation levers. Too few lead generation levers will not bring enough quality leads to the business. Too many lead generation levers and you won't do any of them well.


STEP 3 - Creating a Powerful Business Plan for Your Small Business - Create S.M.A.R.T. Activities


Develop 3 to 5 Specific Activities that Support Your Lead Generation Levers or Distribution Channels


Now that you have the 3 to 5 lead generation levers or distribution channels for your business. You now need to come up with 3 to 5 S.M.A.R.T. activities for each. S.M.A.R.T. activities stand for: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely.

For example, let's say that your lead generation lever is Sphere of Influence. A S.M.A.R.T. activity could be: I will call each person in my Sphere of Influence once a quarter to provide a brief market update and ask the question, "Who do you know that is thinking about buying a home, selling a home, or investing in real estate that I can help today?" I would also ask, "What are your plans regarding real estate in the next 6 to 12 months."

  • S = Call your sphere.
  • M = You either call them or you don't.
  • A = Making a phone call with purpose and intention is doable.
  • R = The information you share is relevant to the timing of the call (market information). The call is also relevant to support your lead generation lever: Sphere of Influence.
  • T = Once a quarter.


A Completed, Powerful Business Plan for Your Business


Upon completion of your business plan, you will have ONE GOAL that relates to people and can be shared along with 3 to 5 lead generation levers or distribution channels, and 3 to 5 S.M.A.R.T. activities that support your lead generation levers or distribution channels. To enhance this business plan, you would also create a marketing plan to create exposure that is in alignment with your business plan.

Let Red Hawk Coaching help you create a Powerful Business Plan; a plan that will get results. Connect with me today to learn more.


Create a Winner's Schedule


Now that you have a powerful business plan, you now must create the schedule to execute the plan. Studying people that have achieved massive success over the years, one thing stood out. They all had a winner's schedule. What is a winner's schedule? What goes on the schedule?


Component 1 - A Winner's Schedule - Spiritual Appointment


The first thing that goes on my schedule is time spent with God whether it is reading scripture or prayer. For me, everything that I do is to honor Him, and everything given to me is because of Him. I place this on my calendar first so that the time is not interrupted. Using a calendar is to prevent interruption. For me, my Spiritual life and personal relationship with God are foundational and what keeps me on track in all that I do both inside and outside of business.


Component 2 - A Winner's Schedule - Bedtime


Staying up late is going to prevent you from waking up early to start your day. You hear that "the early bird gets the worm". There is much truth in this old saying. If you stay up late, you're going to start later and the competition is already outpacing you. Also if you're managing people, their problems and day are upon them, and you will find yourself working in the business to solve their problems vs. working on the business to grow it.

Productivity and making taking on the toughest task at the beginning of the day before taking on the world are what winners do. Brian Buffini says to "eat that frog". He also says, "If you have two frogs, eat the ugliest first."


Component 3 - A Winner's Schedule - Wake Up


Naturally, if you're going to schedule your bedtime, then it only makes sense to schedule the time you wake up. How do you pick this time? Ask yourself how many hours of sleep does your body need to be optimal? Most people need 7 to 8 hours of sleep to feel fully rested. An amazing thing I have discovered is that when I'm in a routine, I no longer need an alarm clock to wake me up. I will wake up fully rested and ready to take on the day.


Component 4 - A Winner's Schedule - Schedule Your Rocks


So far you've scheduled time with God, what time you will go to bed, and when to wake up. Next is scheduling the rocks both in business and life. Rocks are something that is previously scheduled or those things that can't be moved.

Here are some examples of rocks in life:

  • Birthdays
  • Holidays
  • Vacations
  • Date Nights
  • Time Scheduled with Friends
  • Doctor Appointment

Here are some examples of rocks in business:

Think of rocks as something on your schedule that must be planned or is not going to consider your schedule to happen. Think of a national conference for your industry. That conference planner is not going to call you to ask what day would be better for you in scheduling the event. The day and time are set. It's a non-negotiable if you want to participate. No one is going to move a family member's birthday to another day to celebrate. The day is the day.

If you decide to hire me as your coach, our coaching appointment will be a rock in your schedule. It is a non-negotiable and protected time. Hiring me as your coach is you committing to your improvement. Connect with me to learn more about what coaching would look like in your business.


Component 5 - A Winner's Schedule - Schedule L.I.F.E.


The next four items you will schedule are represented by the acronym L.I.F.E. They are also to be scheduled on your calendar in the order provided by the acronym. What does L.I.F.E. stand for:

  • L = Love
  • I = Improvement
  • F = Fitness & Health
  • E = Economic


Schedule L.I.F.E. - Love


Scheduling love is scheduling those relationships most important to you. I've known many successful people over the years their success is solely defined by finances. They are lonely at the top because, during their climb, they forgot to pay attention to the relationships important to them. This struggle leads to divorce, broken relationships with children, creating distance from the family, and the destruction of important relationships.

Just as you must work at your business to achieve success in that area of your life, relationships require work and relationships require time.

When is the last time you had a date night?

When is the last time you threw the ball with your kid?

When is the last time you had friends over for a cookout and watch a sporting event?

If these things are not happening in your life, it's because you've not put the effort into scheduling this time on your calendar.

As a small business owner of Red Hawk Coaching, I get how you and I can get distracted and deep into our work. Understanding that there is an important need for relationships, I encourage if you struggle in this area to make sure you get this time scheduled in your calendar. Connect with me if you have any questions about this being a priority in your schedule.


Schedule L.I.F.E. - Improvement


Next schedule time for improvement. Schedule 15 - 20 minutes a day to commit to personal improvement. If you're not growing, you're dying. There is something you are probably thinking about right now that you would like to improve. Find content that would support your efforts on improving in this area of your business or life. Here are some different ideas to get you started.

  • Watch a YouTube Video
  • Do a Google Search on the Topic of Interest
  • Watch a Documentary on the Subject Matter
  • Tune into a Podcast
  • Read a Book on the Topic

Working a little bit each day over time can add up to large changes. Make sure you get that 15 - 20 minutes in each day.

As a small business coach and owner of Red Hawk Coaching, I believe focusing on improvement is key. Even small improvements over time will move the needle in a big way.


Schedule L.I.F.E. - Fitness and Health


Fitness and Health, and I will add Nutrition, are key to your performance both in business and in life. You've probably heard that health = wealth. There is only truth in this statement. If you're not healthy, it will directly impact your performance. The healthier you become, the more you can do, and the clearer you will think. The longevity of your career or running a business increases when health is a focus.

Commit time in your schedule each day to work out. Commit time in your schedule each day committed to meal times. Make sure you are properly feeding your body. Lastly, make sure you are committed to great sleeping practices. Sleep is important to recovery and preparation for the next day.

If you want to have a big impact, and this impact can go either way, ask yourself what your commitment is to your health and fitness and nutrition? If you're slipping in that area, you more than likely don't have it on your schedule.

While Red Hawk Coaching is not a health and fitness company, and we do not provide nutritional advice, we encourage you to make this a priority in your schedule. Connect with someone that is an expert in the field if you are needing additional help.


Schedule L.I.F.E. - Economic


The last thing that goes on your schedule is Economic aka your business. You will take that powerful business plan you created above and schedule those S.M.A.R.T. activities on your calendar. Those activities require time to execute so this is the part of the schedule that honors executing your business plan.

Why is this the last exercise in the scheduling process? Economic is scheduled last because it takes into account living out both a great life and a successful business. If you're not taking care of YOU and your relationships that mean the world to you, being a business success is not necessarily going to be fulfilling, and it will get lonely. When I coach individuals, these high-performing individuals also are living out big lives.


Work-Life Balance - It's a Lie


The last thing you will need to understand in having a Winner's Schedule is that work-life balance is a lie. A book that lays this out in much more detail is The ONE Thing by Jay Papasan and Gary Keller. In the book, The ONE Thing, the concept of counterbalance is shared. A visualization of counterbalance would be a pendulum that swings back and forth. Sometimes you will find yourself more into your work than working on your relationships, and then the pendulum will swing the other direction, and you will find yourself more focused on relationships over work.

This is natural and okay. A problem will only arise if you don't swing from one side of the pendulum to the other. If you stay only in work mode, people, including those close to you might perceive you as a workaholic. You will lose relationships. If you stay only in relationship mode, your business will suffer. People may not use your services or purchase your products or follow you because they have the perception you're not serious about your business.

Take the pressure off yourself, and focus on creating a counterbalance in business and life.

If are you struggling with finding a counterbalance between your small business and life, connect with Red Hawk Coaching to learn how we help small business owners find counterbalance.


Conclusion - A Winner's Schedule


Having a powerful business plan to execute is only as good as the schedule you follow. Develop a Winner's Schedule. Create a schedule in the following order:

  • Spiritual Appointment
  • Bedtime
  • Wake Up
  • Rocks
  • Love
  • Improvement
  • Fitness and Health (Nutrition)
  • Economic

Build out your schedule and more importantly commit to your schedule, and you will see amazing things happen in both your business and life.




According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 65% of businesses won't make it to year 10. What can you be intentional about as a successful small business owner that will buck this stat? You are now armed with information to build and execute a Powerful Business Plan and live by a Winner's Schedule. These two actionable items alone will catapult you on your success journey. If you know another small business owner with whom this information can help, I am going to ask you to share the link to this post with them. My passion as a small business coach is to help people win.

It takes a village, and if you and I can have that impact, the community of small business owners in our great country will only grow stronger because of it.

Connect with me today to learn how I can help you and your business today.


More About Red Hawk Coaching


Red Hawk Coaching is the go-to destination for small business owners who want to achieve consistent and measurable results. We offer customized coaching and consulting services that help real estate business owners take action and get results. Whether you're looking to increase sales, streamline operations, or simply get organized, Red Hawk Coaching can help. Our approach is tailored specifically to your needs, so you can focus on what's important - running your business. With over 12 years of experience in the industry, we know what it takes to help businesses succeed. Let Red Hawk Coaching show you how it's done. Schedule a consultation to learn more about how Coach Jeremy Williams of Red Hawk Coaching can start helping your small business today.

Pick up a copy on Amazon of the Best-Selling book Survive Scale Soar: The Entrepreneur's Guide to Building the Life and Business You Deserve by Jeremy Williams.