Crowdfunding Tools

Startup Risk Calculator

Use this tool to determine your operating cash flow, free cash flow, and cash liquidity balance.

Debt and Funding

About how much debt and equity capital has been provided to your business?


How long do you think it would take to obtain additional funding for your business?

Evaluation and Growth

How often do you evaluate your cash flow status or plan?

What’s your degree of business planning?

rate 1 to 7: 1 = no plan, 7 = very detailed plan

What’s the approximate annual growth rate of your market?


How many years of management experience do you or your team have?

Provide average if your answer is for “team”

How many years of industry experience do you or your team have?

Provide average if your answer is for “team”


Over what timeframe do you want to know your chances of survival?

Small Business Survival Rate Calculator

The odds of survival for the average business are not in your favor. Many people agree with the estimate that 9 out of 10 companies will ultimately fail and supporting data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics over the last 26 years pegs the small business survival rate at around 15.8%.

Business risk is unavoidable, but having good business risk management strategies can help you come out the other side as a small business survivor.

Risk Formula

So how can business risk be quantified or calculated? Risk is basically a set of probabilities determined by the chances of an event occurring combined with the consequences if it does occur.

Risk = Probability x Consequence

If the likelihood of a particular event is rare, and the consequences negligible, then the risk is subsequently low. On the other hand, if the probability is high and the consequence is devastating to your business, it’s a high-risk event and you’ll need to assess a plan for navigating that risk.

Business Risk Assessment

Whether existential (like a pandemic) or internal (like an ineffective team), your business is being threatened on a near constant basis. The following key factors must be considered when assessing business risk and are some of the factors in our calculation for startup risk.

Financial Risk

Startups are inherently risky ventures and investors are rightfully hesitant to invest. If a business is just getting started they are likely reinvesting every dollar that comes back to the business and still in need of more money. If the entrepreneurs can’t effectively and quickly raise capital, they run the common risk of running out of money.

This is why it’s important to be conservative with your spending and proactive in your fundraising. After studying his portfolio companies, successful VC Fred Wilson advises companies to plan for 18 months of runway and three to six months of fundraising.

One clear indicator of business survival is regular cash flow analysis and management. Cash flow constraints are sometimes unavoidable but with a little foresight and planning, their impact can be less threatening to your business.

Operational and Strategic Risks

In addition to financial risk, if your team can’t execute your business plan or have the wherewithal to know when the plan is flawed and pivot, you will be doomed for failure. This is why you should consider your team’s average experience level for both industry expertise and managerial experience.

Another metric for business success is how forward-thinking you are in your strategy. Are you a detailed planner that executes on that plan? The old adage of “A failure to plan is a plan for failure” could not be more relevant in business.

Market Risk

More threatening than the many internal risks associated with running a business, ultimately, the business is at the mercy of the market. If the market for your business suddenly changes, contracts, consolidates, or ceases to exist, your risk of failure skyrockets.

Are you disrupting incumbents of a long-entrenched industry or are you on the frontline of an innovative new industry? Either way, the expansion or contraction of the market could be the biggest factor in your ultimate success or failure.

Tips to Avoid Business Failure

With the small business failure rate likely to hit all-time highs in the wake of the global pandemic, avoiding this precarious fate will be challenging for most. If you calculate your odds of success and find your business is more likely to fail, consider some of the following tips:

  1. Raise enough funding to have 18+ months of runway.
  2. If more funding is needed, begin raising 6+ months before you will need it.
  3. Use conservative cash flow management practices.
  4. Set objectives and key results (OKRs) to measure your team’s performance.
  5. Pivot towards markets or market segments with compounding growth.

Whether or not you currently feel the pressure of a failing business, it’s important that business leaders take a proactive approach and plan for the worst-case scenario. Startup risk is real but you can avoid becoming another statistic by implementing these best practices. EquityNet has helped thousands of startups and established businesses optimize their business plan and raise equity capital through a network of angels and venture capitalists.