If you’re an established business owner, you know that business failures are the stuff of sleepless nights. And if you’re a newer business owner who is reading this because you’ve experienced your first failure, welcome to the club! Unfortunately, it’s not an exclusive club, because business failures are far more common than any of us would like them to be. Why? Because humans run businesses and we aren’t perfect — no matter how hard we try.
I have had multiple business failures of my own and even made a mistake that cost the company $17,000 in my first professional job. But you know what? I get better every single time.
Now if you like the idea of being part of an exclusive club, join me in being a business owner who dusts him/herself off, gets back up and tries again. According to Harvard research, there’s an 18 percent chance that a first-time entrepreneur will succeed. But that rate increases to 20 percent after they fail once and learn lessons. And once an entrepreneur succeeds, their chances of doing so with future endeavors increases to 30 percent.
Once you’re convinced that perseverance is the answer long-term success, here’s how to overcome a business failure.
When something goes wrong, we have a tendency to panic and rush into “fixing” mode. Instead, take a beat to get a grip on what happened. Make sure that everyone involved fully understands the situation. When everyone is on the same page from the start, it helps to avoid redundancies or more failures in the future.
PUT IT IN PERSPECTIVE
Not all failures are created equal, and that’s important to remember. It can be easy to go to extremes and feel like the situation is the end of your world (or business). Be realistic about how drastic it truly is. Make sure the remedy matches the severity of the screw up.
UNDERSTAND WHAT WENT WRONG
What caused the failure? Was it miscommunication? Confusion? Misdirection? Lack of oversight? When you understand what what broke down, you can better explain the situation to your team, learn from the experience, determine how to move forward and make sure it doesn’t happen again.
CREATE A SYSTEM TO AVOID A REPEAT
It’s likely that the issue can be prevented next time with solid processes in place that make it clear what needs to be done, when and by whom. Standardized processes reduce operational failures because of their repeatable nature. Create a process for anything you do more than twice in your business. It will save you time, energy, money and yes, mistakes, down the road. When you implement strong processes and the appropriate checks and balances to oversee quality and consistency, you help safeguard your business from errors.
If you’re struggling to overcome a business failure or want focused guidance on how you can prevent future problems, Kleriti Business Solutions is here to help. Contact us today.