The steam that once fueled a rapidly growing entrepreneurial industry has drastically slowed. With good reason, people are no longer rushing to become business owners. The fear of failure, the shortage of funds, and the effects of a really bad recession are all to blame. At least 25% of all start-up businesses fail within the first year, 36% by year 2 and 50% by year 4. With these results and today’s risk being so high, not many want to take a chance with such a jilted success scale.

Studies have shown that the largest contribution to such high rates of start-up failure can be attributed to entrepreneurs putting the horse before the proverbial cart. reports a shocking 46% of startups fail due to entrepreneurs’ incompetence with respects to things such as planning, knowledge and experience.

So how do you remedy these issues, tilt the scale in your favor and triumph as an entrepreneur? Shockingly, the solution is no secret. Get a business mentor. As easy as this solution is, the number of entrepreneurs who seek mentors before starting their businesses are no where near where they should be, or the failure rates would not be as high.

Why is a business mentor important? If for no other reason, having a mentor can save you from the entrepreneurial flop. Realistically speaking, unless you have worked in or studied the industry in which you are opening your business, it is inevitable that you will be incompetent in the areas of planning, knowledge and experience. Despite these facts, you will still open that business, and rightfully so. Making things happen, despite the odds, is the very essence of what makes you an entrepreneur. Your mentor is the person or network of persons who fill those gaps of incompetency. With their expertise, guidance, failures and successes, they can lead you away from the pitfalls and straight to growth and increase. In no way are you absolutely guaranteed not to fail or are you guaranteed a walk on “easy street”. Having a mentor, however, decreases your risk of failure significantly and helps you avoid the most common failures of startups.