It's something we often heard as we were starting up Look-in-the-Bag. We went to a lot of networking events, business start-up seminars and marketing days, and we learned a great deal about what new businesses did wrong that caused such a high failure rate.
It's a well known fact that 92.3% of statistics are made up. Despite assertions to the contrary, most of us use a lot more than 10% of our brains, we are often more than six feet from a rat, and we don't need to drink two litres of water a day.
As it turns out, according to an OECD survey of start-ups that began in 2006, most made it past their third anniversary - despite the recession. Businesses that began in 2005 probably had a higher survival rate. According to Professor Jonathan Levie of the University of Strathclyde, they had a median life longer than the median tenure of a new job in Canada or the UK.
However, concern about the frailty of new businesses has no doubt played a part in encouraging governments, local authorities, universities and charities to offer help to people starting, or thinking about starting, a new business.
The odds of a new business surviving may be better than they're sometimes made out to be, but it can still be nervewracking thinking about how much it could all cost; and it's certainly confusing working out who needs to know what about your business. At LitB therefore, we were happy to take all the help we could get and we came into contact with some very helpful people and organisations that I'll blog about over the next few days.