Simplify to succeed? Reduce your risk by 10X!

amish   photo by cloudsoup

Looking for business success?  Here’s some great advice:

– Stick to your strengths…do what you’re really good at.

– Work hard every single day.

– Find partners that get you and work closely with them.

– Be polite and give great service to your customers.

Now this isn’t just any great advice, this is backed up by some amazing statistics – you might have seen an earlier post on Why Businesses Fail with the kind of depressing statistic that more than half of all business start-ups fail within the first 5 years.

However there’s a group that lives by the advice above and their failure rate is about 5% after 5 years!

This amazingly successful group are Amish entrepreneurs according to Erik Wesner – author of Success Made Simple:  An Inside Look at Why Amish Businesses Thrive.  There are over 9000 Amish entrepreneurs with some businesses doing more than $5 Million domestically and overseas.  Pretty incredible when you consider they have limited use of technology and tend to focus on traditional goods.

Wesner attributes a lot of their success to their culture and values, emphasizing hard work, family, integrity and quality as a way of life.

Here’s a good summary article from CNN Money  – Why Amish Businesses don’t fail and here’s a minute and a half video ‘trailer’ for the book:  Success Made Simple

Think about the hundreds (or thousands) of business books out there…sometimes it certainly seems like we overcomplicate things!  What do you think?  Have you bought any Amish goods?  I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Shawn Kinkade  Kansas City Business Coach

5 thoughts on “Simplify to succeed? Reduce your risk by 10X!”

  1. carlottaposey says:

    Shawn , I think that is great advice we are home health agency and we do great work and it is difficult to market to people and not businesses but that what we almost have to do. We are caregivers first and that message is difficult to get out if you do not have the marketers or the marketing dollars. I mean how many health fairs for seniors can you go to. Thanks so much you always have great advice.

  2. David Miller says:

    So many businesses take business just what it is – a business. The ethics of business often get left behind and consumers are just people in dire need of services, this is so wrong on so many levels, simplifying the way you do things can really make huge difference and make you fall into the 5% failure rate category

  3. skinkade says:

    David and Carlotta,

    Thanks for the comments – there's definitely a benefit to going back to the old fashioned way of doing business…helping people, adding value and doing the right thing! It's great to see some data that shows doing the right thing works!


  4. Erik Wesner says:

    Shawn, thanks for covering my book!

    Though for obvious reasons they aren't a perfect match for the rest of us, the Amish aren't reinventing a lot of wheels–and a lot of what they do can be applied elsewhere. They're essentially taking a very human approach to all aspects of business–ideas like humble leadership, losing money to keep customers happy (numerous Amish rely heavily on word of mouth), and promoting a family environment in the workplace. Thanks again for the post, and have enjoyed your blog!

  5. skinkade says:

    Erik – thanks for reading and the comment! I love the different perspective on the challenges that business owners are facing today. A lot of my clients (and myself occasionally) are feeling overwhelmed with all of the shiny objects (technology, social media, etc.) and it can be difficult to just get back to basics…but obviously worthwhile.

    Thanks for sharing.


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