I recently experienced a failed business and it would have been devastating if not for my support team. The good thing about failure for a positive minded person (which should be the mind set of an entrepreneur) is the ability to use the experience as a learning process.
When a business venture fails there are two most likely reactions from the entrepreneur. You either give up or dive back in again, trying to make it right this time around.
From my own experience, here are some helpful tips on bouncing back from a business failure.
1. And the blame lies…
A whole lot of things could have gone wrong. The first step is to take an introspective look at your business journey and without been biased.
Analyse the venture and pinpoint where things went wrong. You can ask the people who had interactions with your business for their opinions.
Be sure to let go of the hurt that comes from failing at a venture. The altruistic ones will prefer to blame themselves and this might be harmful if you cannot get over the blame game.
Next, decide if you are returning to that venture or starting a new venture. This is important as it will determine your next moves. The decision to continue a failed venture will rest solely on you.
Consider the reason you started the venture. Was it just a business or a deal with a goal? An ordinary business idea (not that there are ordinary business ideas, but some are conceived based on needs as opposed to those based on passion), is easy to let go of.
With this idea, you can venture into a different line of business, responding to another need. However when your idea is part of a dream, it is harder to dump it and move on.
This is usually the hardest. If your business was loan funded, it is always a source of grave concern. Many business owners suffer huge financial losses after a failed venture.
Although not easy, making efforts to restore/refund loans can give a sense of fulfillment.
This is not to say that inability to do so should lead to depression rather a well laid out plan for payment may inspire hope. It is absolutely necessary to avoid any form of self deprecating thoughts.
Now that you have decided, begin to make plans in line with your decision.
If you have decided to move on. You will need a fresh new idea and plan according to the idea. In the event that you want to continue with your previous idea, make further research using your previous mistakes as key points.
Go back to the drawing board. Your drawing board will hold your idea, its concept, theme and any previous mistakes. It is time for a new flow chart which will utilise the information gathered from the research you have done.
Tip: If you really need funds at this point, consider crowd funding.
5. Take your time
It is tempting to want to dive right into the deep end when you have found the solution or something new. Don’t do this.
It’s not advisable jump right in. And no, this is not saying you should procrastinate. On the contrary, take time to set out a pace that will allow you notice changes and progress.
6. Laying the ground work
Now you work, and I must add with a vengeance.
Going from the drawing board to the work table is literally a huge step. This is where every past lesson is put to the test.
Having a strong belief in the success of your venture helps to pad all the hard work you have done.
Praying about your moves and asking for directions divinely can go a long way.
Also a positive mind set is required. Always.
8. Be patient
When you start squatting at the gym, there is a tendency to look at your butt for signs of growth. Disappointment quickly follows when the expected immediate transformation is not seen.
Like squats, your business will need time and constant, continuous efforts to grow and begin to show signs of growth. Be patient. Continue to work at it.
To avoid working blindly, take constant review of your progress. It may be quarterly or monthly but alway take stock. Mark areas that might need improvement or changes. Make necessary upgrades. Get customer feedback.
You cannot know too much. Even after the initial research, always seek expert opinions at every stage. This will serve as a guide along and also a yard stick to measure your progress.
In the long run. Your perception of a failed business is vital to your entrepreneurial life. If you develop the habit of not giving up and taking every failure as practice and a lesson, you will find yourself very soon in a successful venture with lots of stories to tell.