Handling business failure
What is failure? As Thomas Edison, the great entrepreneur behind light bulb and General Electric (GE) once said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” For an entrepreneur, failure in itself is nothing. It is just the lack of success in his desired objectives. For instance, you may not be able to convert your idea into a prototype, or the prototype into a mass-scale product or sales may not be good despite repeated attempts. For an entrepreneur, these are normal results – if things go as planned and succeed too fast, it is an exception!
Start with clear milestones: As you set upon your entrepreneurial journey, be clear about your milestones — where you want to go, and what you wish to achieve and in what time duration. The better you are in planning of goals, the better your judgment will be in execution.
Share failures with team members, family and friends: People are very guarded and conservative in hiding failures, but true friends, family and partners will support and help you come out with a solution faster. It takes strength of character to admit to failures in business and also builds character along the way.
Find a mentor: In tough times, an entrepreneur may find limited ideas to pursue or that he is stuck with few problems. A mentor’s wisdom may help come up with right solutions.
Do not throw good money after bad money: There are times when you need to close a chapter to start a new one. If you keep throwing more money in a wrong direction, then it will not ensure success. Be calm and take decisions. It may involve cutting down costs, downsizing or salary cuts. These will ensure your venture remains alive and becomes stronger.
Keep moving: Google’s original idea was to sell their search engine technology to Yahoo and make money but eventually failed in doing that. They got rejected! Today, Google is 10 times bigger than Yahoo. The true entrepreneur keeps moving without falling in love with his idea, but keeps generating new options and ways to bring his business into right shape.
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