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Wise Words In business, the learning curve is steep-don't take a leap.

By Doug Hood

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Q: Inyour experience as a lender, what have you found to be the mostcommon reasons businesses fail?

A: Howdo businesses fail? Let me count the ways. Infinity is a good roundnumber, but short of that, the most common reason for businessfailure I've encountered is lack of experience. It'sdifficult for lenders to watch historically successful people startbusinesses in which they have little or no experience and thenflounder and fail. While accumulating experience in the industryyou plan to start your business in won't guarantee yoursuccess, not having it can statistically increase your odds forfailure. Other reasons for failure I've seen-such asinsufficient capital, heavy competition, uncontrolled growth,inappropriate location, seasonal business, tax issues, fraud,management turnover or lack of proper planning-pale in comparisonto lack of experience. As a good rule of thumb in business,don't do what you don't know.

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