Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm – Winston Churchill
When you hear that 9 out of 10 startups are bound for failure, it tends to seem very disheartening to begin a small company venture at all. Being told ‘no’ is an awful feeling, but some small business owners are able to dig their way out of the trenches into incredible success. Starbucks is one such example. Owner, Howard Schultz, was told ‘no’ over 200 times before his dream was realized. Could you imagine where we’d be without Starbucks? But, could you, as a small business owner, suffer through that many shut doors?
While having a lot of enthusiasm is important for small business success, there are also a plethora of mistakes that many small business owners make that are fatal to their future. Here is how to steer clear of common failures, keep your enthusiasm and drive it home to success.
- You must have a plan
Gone are the days of flying by the seat of your pants, if such a time ever existed. In today’s business world, you must have a plan, and it must be solid. Even a simple business plan created on an online app can help you organize your thoughts, and put action into your vision. Without a plan, you’ll easily get lost and find it easier than ever to give up.
Be sure to also include a plan for your personal life. You may need to quit your day-time job to make this business a reality. Are you ready for that?
- Spend money on experts
The cold hard truth is that you don’t know it all. Sorry, but you don’t. Business can be complicated, but some of the best dollars you shell out should be on expert advice and planning. You need someone with experience in your corner to guide you through the legal papers, the negotiating of terms or the launch of your product or business.
- The thing about money
While you should spend money on certain things for your business, money will not solve all your problems. Money is a tricky thing to handle, and every penny needs a purpose. Many entrepreneurs spend it in the wrong place or at the time. This again, is where spending money on the experts can lead you to spend your money appropriately in other places. A whole bucket of cash will not solve all your business issues. Once you really let that sink in, you can move forward to strategize just how your business can grow.
- Let’s talk about growth
So many entrepreneurs and wannabes envision their business or product taking off. They imagine moving from their garage to a 25,000 square foot manufacturing facility or the ability to use machines to package items instead of doing it by hand. These dreams are great and will happen with the proper timing and scaling. However, many businesses scale too fast. You can’t have one great effort at fundraising and think you’re golden. Again, hiring the proper experts to lead the growth and guiding the absolute right place to spend the funds will give you the best chance for longevity. Trust me, it is easy to blow through one Kickstarter campaign fund. Scaling too quickly is a surefire way to demolish your dream.
- Get it in writing
In the world of business, you must seriously trust no one. Everything you do within the confines of your business must be in writing. Any and all agreements should be upheld with a written agreement, period. Sometimes, the people your trust the most will stab you in the back the quickest. There are thousands of stories where best friends and family members steal or sabotage the efforts of an entrepreneur. Do not let that be you.
- Fearing the “F” word
Fail. No one likes the word and no one likes the feeling of failure. Of course, there is a silver lining here. Failing at an aspect of your business does not have to be the end of the road. Every time something doesn’t work out perfectly, you can take it as a learning tool instead of a failure. You can think of it as an experiment in which the outcome was not desired. Now, take that experiment and change it up a bit to see if you can achieve the desired results. Almost every company on the planet has failed at something at sometime in their existence. It is ok. Fail a little now and learn a lot for later. Dust yourself off and keep it going.
Enthusiasm can be difficult to keep going after failure. We get it. Failure can feel so depressing and you may want to give up. Trust me, this is the time to learn and grow.
In the end, many startups fail for many different reasons. This is just a taste of mistakes you can make when trying to launch your business or product. Heed the advice from the experts, spend your money intelligently and never let your guard down. Don’t be afraid to fail and always take an opportunity to learn and grow.