Starting up a business is challenging for any entrepreneur.

If fact, an article in Entrepreneur cites a study which found that half of American companies fail within five years. Even more fold in 10 years’ time.

So, why do some businesses fail and others succeed?

As most experts agree, it comes down to leadership.

Winning entrepreneurs possess the skills, passion, flexibility and business relationships to succeed.

Read on to discover the six secrets that have helped them beat the odds and lead their businesses to victory.

#1: Passion

It is so important to believe in what you are doing.

Successful entrepreneurs know their pursuits are important, and they are committed to making an impact.

Running a business is a series of ups and downs. Without ardent dedication and pride in your idea, you will never be able to ride that roller coaster.

At the core of Romp n’ Roll’s business model is a passion for helping children and families. This desire inspired Babz and I to start our business and continues to motivate us to this day.

#2: Growth

The most successful entrepreneurs are constantly developing strategies to grow their business.

It’s not enough to build a successful enterprise, you must continuously focus on expanding it.

Some inexperienced entrepreneurs may believe that once their business is operational and business is good, the hard part is over.

Those in the know realize this thinking is short-sighted. They accept the fact that their business is a living, breathing entity. They feed it, water it, and give it love to make it grow.

This nurturing approach has helped us grow the Romp n’ Roll brand since 2004. By partnering with like-minded entrepreneurs, our business has expanded to over 300 locations.

#3: Teamwork

The ability to assemble the right team in order to bring your ideas and goals to fruition is essential. Especially in the early stages of a business.

In fact, the success of start-ups often hinge upon “the ability of the founder to attract a great team…” (Forbes).

Along with finding and recruiting the best people, insightful entrepreneurs also know how to motivate and retain them.

The people you put on your team are like pieces of a puzzle. Each fills a specific spot with their own unique skills and personality. The strongest leaders know how to arrange a cohesive team that compliments each other’s talents and strengths.

#4: Resolve

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

—Thomas A. Edison

Starting up and running a business is not easy. How you deal with the struggles and obstacles along the way will either make or break you.

Successful entrepreneurs can reach within themselves when things get rough and keep going. They never give up, never stop trying, and never take no for an answer.

These statements may sound cliché. However, as any successful entrepreneur will tell you, they often separate those who succeed from those who don’t.

#5: Mentors

Without the support and guidance of a mentor, many people fail to recognize—and reach—their full potential.

Experts agree that entrepreneurs who are mentored by qualified and successful role models are more likely to succeed.

Mentors help their protégés perform better and can often help guide them through challenging times.

Harvard Business Review conducted a two-year survey on an emerging trend of mentorship for executives. Among other benefits, overwhelmingly (84%), CEOs reported that mentors helped them master their jobs more quickly and avoid mistakes.

As anyone who knows or has worked with me will tell you, I believe in the power of mentors. That’s why at Romp n’ Roll, we mentor our franchisees through all aspects of the business.

#6: Market

The most successful start-up entrepreneurs devote their energies to developing businesses that serve an existing need.

They don’t gamble their time building a product or service and then try to find the market to sustain it. Instead, they recognize a gap in the market and endeavor to fill it through their business offering.

This may seem like a “which came first—the chicken or the egg” conundrum, but it’s an important distinction.

When our kids were young, Babz realized there were separate child centers for different activities: exercise, art, educational development. There was no one-stop-shop facility that had a holistic approach to childhood development.

This gap in the market presented a huge opportunity for us. We were able to fill a real need in our community among young children—a steadily growing demographic.

We soon found out we could expand into other markets because that need (and demographic) existed in other areas.

There are no guarantees in life or business, obviously. However, being privy to these “secrets” of successful start-up entrepreneurs can help you forge your own path to success.

Discover how Romp n’ Roll embodies a purpose-driven approach to business.

Michael Barnett is the Co-Founder and CEO of Romp n’ Roll, and leads its management team. He is an active member of the International Franchise Association, and the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Additionally, Michael serves on the Board of Directors for Connor’s Heroes and Juniata College Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. He and his wife, Babz, were featured on the first season of ABC-TV’s “Shark Tank“.

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