Anyone who has put time towards growing a business from scratch is familiar with failure. Behind every success, there might be countless ideas that didn’t work, and plans that didn’t deliver the expected results. There are a few reasons that have often led to those failures and that we want to point out in the hope that your business will avoid making these mistakes.
What is failure?
We may all have a different idea of what ‘failure’ means. Generally, it can be defined as the opposite of success. You feel like you have failed when a plan doesn’t pan out in the way you hoped it would. Your first instinct when facing failure might be to give up or feel demoralized. It’s important that, instead, we see this as a business lesson and move on to look at why we failed and what we can do to succeed next.
Why do businesses fail?
No system in place
You could have laid out the best plan in the history of business, and yet if you don’t have a great system in place to achieve it, it could still fail. This especially affects productivity – why have your team members scramble to get a simple task done in a few hours when you could set a system that could help them complete it in minutes? Time that is spent outlining how every process works is never wasted.
Lack of a clear vision
Do you definitely know what’s your vision? There is nothing worse than wasting time and energy on a vision you’re not passionate about. Before you can move forward with it, you need to be honest with yourself and really decide what you want and expect from your business. Look at what are your core values and plan a future for your company that’s based on them. No need to follow what the competition is doing and to adopt a vision that’s not yours, as that would only make it more likely to fail.
Strategy didn’t get tested & adjusted
There is no way for you to know if something will work other than to try it. It’s important that when you come up with a strategy, you don’t get too attached to one single idea and place all of your resources and time towards that one alone. Perfection can’t guarantee success, and even what you may think is the best strategy might not convert at the end of the day. That’s when it’s time to move to another strategy and keep going until you find what works.
Lack of critical thinking
As humans, we are bound to occasionally make mistakes. We can’t expect every idea, vision, strategy, or tactic to be the perfect solution to all of our business’ problems. That’s why we need to look at what we do and why we do it with critical thinking. Am I following this vision because I think it’s the best for the business or because I think that’s what is expected of me? Am I following this strategy because it’s proven to work or because I want it to work no matter what? Don’t let your preferences or emotions be what stops you from succeeding.
No monitoring of your results
So, you’ve finally launched your campaign or started selling that product you’ve been working on for a while. Now, what? Your job doesn’t end there. How do you know if your campaign is working or if your product is selling without keeping an eye on the results of your hard work?
That instant feedback is what allows you to adjust your tactics as you progress and to test a few different strategies until you find what really works. There is always room for improvement and if something fails to deliver results, consider whether you should start all over or simply tweak something to make it better.
Can failure be good for your business?
It’s important to try and do our best whenever we make a decision that regards our business. Nevertheless, sometimes things simply aren’t meant to be and we may still end up ‘failing’. What’s really important, is to learn to accept failure and change its perception from something so negative to an opportunity to do better. It’s what helps us understand which direction we shouldn’t take and gives us another shot at trying to succeed. Even the most renowned of businesses have experienced failure, but what set them apart from others that give up straight away, is the fact that they simply adapted and moved on.
Failure is not something to be feared, but at the same time, we can still do our best to minimize mistakes that negatively impact our business. We hope that this article has given you a better insight into what might be stopping your business from progressing but also taught you that failure is not as fatal as we have been made to think.