I am often asked what advice I would give someone who is interested in starting a business. It is easy for me to discuss having a business plan and a strategy but most importantly executing that strategy and staying on course. However, I found that the greatest lesson I have learned as an entrepreneur is you have to be willing to fail to succeed. According to the Small Business Administration over 50% of small businesses fail in the first year.
There are many reasons for this
• Lack of experience
• Insufficient capital (money)
• Poor location
• Poor inventory management
• Over-investment in fixed assets
• Poor credit arrangements
• Personal use of business funds
• Unexpected growth
• Low sales
Looking at this list makes you think that failure is inevitable. I look at failure as opportunity.
So what are some tips to help your business sustain?
Don’t let failure be a deterrent: Even the best laid and plan and best intentions sometimes don’t make the cut. I faced this last year when what used to be Complete Concepts Consulting caved in all around me and I faced what I thought was my best not being good enough. Most will face these pivotal moments. It is not the fact that it has happened but what you do in response to it that separates the successes from failures.
Have a plan: Even when the best person is thrown off their game they have to have a plan off action to overcome it. What’s your plan? How will you deal with crisis? How will you deal with failure or defeat? I personally thought that nothing could stop me with Complete Concepts Consulting. I neglected to have a contingency plan for if something did go wrong. Having that plan in place will give you a quicker response time and will allow you to bounce back a lot sooner.
Use your resources: Watching s business that you worked so hard to build can be a lonely feeling. You may feel like no one understands, no one can help and you are all by yourself; I know I did. The reality was I had an amazing support group right in my network. Once I swallowed my pride and began reaching out for help I was overwhelmed by the support and encouragement. Don’t go it alone! Call on your trusted advisers and contacts to help work through your setback and get you back on track.
The road to a successful business is not easy. We all see great stories like Twitter, Facebook, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, jobber man guys, B and L wears etc. I could go on and on. All from humble beginnings, all with their own unique challenges. No matter your obstacle you have to keep pressing forward.