Successful companies don’t just magically spring up without a hitch. Entrepreneurs encounter multiple potentials for failure. Instead of wallowing in the problems or ignoring them, a successful business owner takes the time to overcome failure and move his company forward. But how?
- Honesty Is the Best Policy
When it comes to overcoming failure as an entrepreneur, you need to be brutally honest with yourself. As a business owner, you must be able to make informed decisions that will benefit your company. You can’t do that if you’re set on completing a list of activities you decided need to be done. This self-imposed to-do list may be contributing to your failure, rather than overcoming it. If something isn’t working, take stock of the situation and make a change. It’s okay to be skeptical of your own ideas! In fact, healthy questions are necessary if you want to move forward.
- Don’t Allow Yourself to Buy into Fake Traction
Fake traction constitutes “customers.” These “customers” tell you that they are excited about your product, but they have yet to pay for it. You could have a couple hundred “customers” on your waiting list. However, when push comes to shove, how many of them are willing to pay for your product up front? Another aspect to fake traction is too few real customers. Perhaps you’ve sold a dozen products and every single customer is completely satisfied. That’s great, but that’s not nearly enough customers. It’s imperative that you take steps to overcome the failure of fake traction. Don’t let yourself be blinded by statements that seem to prove success.
- Don’t Work Yourself to Death
The creation of a successful company is no small task. It takes an enormous amount of time, effort, and unwavering commitment. Many times, there are multiple failures to overcome. But that doesn’t mean that you should spin your wheels and consistently pull 100-hour work weeks. Instead, treat your startup like a marathon. You’re in it for the long haul. You must be able to overcome failure by adjusting your plan. That takes quite a bit of mental as well as physical energy. Your mind and your body need plenty of stamina to keep up with your growing company until it’s mature and ready for the next step.
- Keep Your Customers Happy
Your product alone doesn’t bring true value to your company. The people who are using your product – your customers – are the true focus. You’ll never overcome failure until you adjust your focus. The value that your product brings to your customers is where the rubber meets the road. Happy customers are a sign of a successful product. And a successful product leads to a successful company! In fact, you don’t even have to use the very best of materials to make your product successful. Once your customers are satisfied, you’re well on your way to overcoming failure and growing a successful business.
- Acknowledge That You Can’t Do It All
Good leaders acknowledge failure. One of the first steps toward overcoming failure is to recognize it and acknowledge it both to yourself and to your team. Your team can clearly see when the company struggles. They may even have ideas to fix the problem! But you’ll never know about that unless you take time to communicate with them. You don’t have to be the one with all the ideas. Be honest about what’s happening and ask your team for their input. How would they go about solving the problem?
Failure in business does not have to be the end. Take it as an opportunity to learn from your mistakes and mishaps in order to have greater success in the future.