Statistics on business failure are a matter of heated debate. Back in 2014, a study in The Washington Post rubbished the oft-repeated claim that “nine out of ten businesses fail,” saying that it had “no statistical basis.” Even so, a more accurate figure from The Small Business Administration still points to only around half of businesses lasting beyond five years.
As such, there’s still a 50/50 chance that your first startup will fail. If this has happened to you, it’s unlikely to have been a pleasant experience. But does that mean that every bit of the time, money and effort was wasted? Absolutely not. In fact, the value of failing has been discussed on this site before.
As Henry Ford said, “The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.” One thing you can be sure of is that in the wake of a failed start-up, you’ll have a heap of lessons to learn from. Every one of them represents an opportunity to do things better or differently next time and increase the chance of your next business being the one that truly goes the distance.
Here are three big reasons why the failure of your first start-up could prove to have been a blessing:
1. You know which tasks not to expend time and money on
It’s pretty much impossible to get a business off the ground without making some mistakes, especially when it comes to putting time and effort into ideas and activities that don’t move the company forward.
However, it’s easy to forget and write off, for example, a futile Google Ads campaign or a pointless dalliance with Instagram if the business goes on to be a success. However, if the company fails, then these drains on time and money suddenly come into far sharper focus.
This being the case, the chances are you’ll have quite a sizeable “never again” list, even if it’s only stored in your memory. Everything on that list is an opportunity not to make the same mistake again whether it’s a web developer you’ll not be using again or acquired knowledge on which advertising strategies do and don’t work. You have a body of knowledge that’s going to ensure your next venture is leaner, meaner and more focussed.
“You have to work on the business first before it works for you.” – Idowu Koyenikan
2. You know what did go right
Of course (hopefully) you got some stuff right too? This knowledge is equally valuable. One way of looking at it is that your next start-up business can operate like a carefully edited and curated version of the first one.
All the ideas, working practices and promotional avenues that delivered results the first time around are things you can potentially recreate (albeit obviously only where the business similarities are relevant!) What’s more, because you’ve done these things before, they should take you less time the second time around.
There may even be documents, contracts, databases and various other things you can repurpose for your next company. This can result in big savings in both time and money. Just because the business failed doesn’t mean there aren’t considerable resources you still have to show for your initial efforts.
The same applies to the contacts you made and the suppliers and companies you used. That network is still there, and once again it’s now a “curated” network – you know exactly who to work with again, and who to swerve.
3. You’ve learned a valuable lesson in resilience
Gever Tulley is an American writer, TED talk host, and founder of San Francisco’s Brightworks school. He says that “Persistence and resilience only come from having been given the chance to work through difficult problems.”
This is very relevant in start-up businesses. Entrepreneurs who find huge success with their first business actually miss out on a valuable and crucial part of the learning curve, and this can come back to haunt them when there’s an unexpected bump in the road further down the line.
Yes, watching a much-loved business fail can be upsetting and demotivating, but coming out the other side still willing to have another go is undoubtedly a bold and determined move to make. It’s almost inevitable that the process will change you, and will certainly change the way you do things.
“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.” – Michael Jordan
But it’s no bad thing to be more sceptical as to the claims companies make when they sell you something, tougher when it comes to price negotiation, or more cynical about the benefits of jumping onto the latest online bandwagon.
The last quote which I shall use to tie this up is from an unknown source, and it says that “the only person you should try to be better than is who you were yesterday.” If you can stick to that rule and use the failure of a business venture to bounce back with humility and determination, it should set you up well for your next attempt.
All the work that went into that “failed” business still has a huge amount of value. So move forward, concentrate on one thing at a time, and you should stand a good chance of success the second time around.
What failed venture are you grateful for in your life? Let us know in the comments below!
3 Questions Your Startup Needs to Answer in Order to Maintain Focus
When I was a second lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps at 22 years old, one of my captains at The Basic School was a rugged Marine who’d been awarded the Bronze Star for defending an isolated combat outpost from repeated Taliban attacks. (more…)
3 Startup Workplace Trends You Need to Carefully Consider
One of the most notable parts of startup culture from the outside looking in is trends. You know the stereotype of the startup CEO — he’s wearing a hoodie that probably cost hundreds of dollars and running meetings from a bean bag chair. However, trendiness isn’t always the right choice for your business. It can be good for your startup to branch out, but some risks aren’t worth taking. (more…)
How Your Startup Can Effectively Collaborate With Influencers
As a startup, your priority is to attract, engage, and turn potential clients into lucrative, long-term consumers. And the optimal way to make this possible is by incorporating startup influencer marketing.
Most consumer brands these days collaborate with influencers to grow their business. Why? Because these individuals have built a lot of trust behind them, they can promote your product or services to their audience and get them to trust your brand. This is a huge sales-driving strategy, especially for new and upcoming businesses. (more…)
12 Things That Will Help Build Your Brand Reputation for Your Startup
Brand reputation drives the success of businesses, irrespective of what industry you are in. Currently, there are approximately 543,000 startups every month. 70% of these do not survive beyond two years, 50% do not exceed five years, and a third fail to cross the ten-year mark. Only a quarter of these businesses can survive beyond 15 years. (more…)
9 Tips to Keep Yourself and Your Team Motivated While Working From Home
The 4 P’s Needed For Entrepreneurial Success
Let Your Feet Do The Talking
8 Powerful Ways To Show Up In Dating & Relationships – Apollonia Ponti
Are Low Self-Esteem and a Lack of Confidence Holding You Back?
55 Inspirational Quotes That Will Change Your Life
(Images) 52 Motivational Picture Quotes For An Epic Year Of Success
30 Famous Quotes That Will Inspire Success In You
72 Positive Thinking Quotes For More Inner Strength & Growth
40 Rare Motivational and Inspirational Picture Quotes
3 Prince EA Videos To Change Humanities Path To Greatness
(Video) What Is Success? An Entrepreneurial Story To Inspire You
(Inspirational Video) What If Today You Knew You Were Going To Take Your Last Breath?
How To Make Enough Money From A Blog To Quit Your Job – Kate McKibbin
How Finding Your Passion And Becoming An Entrepreneur Can Lead To Happiness – Chiquita Searle
- Success Advice3 weeks ago
The Life Story of Jack Ma and How He Became a Self-Made Billionaire
- Entrepreneurs4 weeks ago
5 Elon Musk Approved Tips for Entrepreneurs
- Life3 weeks ago
The Easiest Life Hack That Will Improve All Your Relationships Instantly
- Motivation3 weeks ago
The Bare Truth of What It Literally Means to Do Whatever It Takes
- Success Advice3 weeks ago
How to Become a Boss That Everybody Wants to Work With
- Success Advice4 weeks ago
The Search for Your Inner Peace Requires Commitment
- Podcasts4 weeks ago
The Mindset Of A Multiple 7 Figure Entrepreneur – Michael Michalowicz
- Life4 weeks ago
4 Steps to Unleashing the Power of Your Personal Mission Statement