There is no shame in trying and failing. Life is like baseball. It is mostly failure with a few notable successes. Think about it: A baseball player batting 300 is considered wildly successful. That player fails to get a hit 70% of the time. Most sales jobs have a worse average. You are lucky to get 1 sale in 10 attempts.
If you have only attempted one business, you haven’t even gotten started. Going one and done is to not try. Further, your ambitions are probably too small. You shouldn’t be trying to start one business, but the first of many. It shouldn’t matter if your first business succeeds. You should always have a bunch of failures over time because you are always creating, always working on the next one, always swinging for the fences. Play the business game just right and failure is not an option. It is a certainty.
The thing to keep in mind is that failure is baked into the process of success. You can do everything perfectly and still have your business fail. You should not be despondent when things go wrong. It is like losing the first three quarters of a football game but winning in the end. Make your adjustments and keep playing the game. Here are some of the adjustments you should make if your first try wasn’t all you had hoped:
Take Care of Personal Debt First
A lot of people jump into starting a business as a way of solving their personal debt issues. Some do it in spite of personal debt issues, convinced that one has nothing to do with the other. What you need to know is that personal debt will act as a boat anchor that keeps your business from setting sail.
Your business will not be entirely firewalled from your personal finances. So make sure you have a platinum debit card so you can have all the perks and protections of a major credit card regardless of whether you are using the personal or business account. Be sure to set up a savings account while you’re at it so that there is a little safety net available in case things don’t go as well, as quickly as you had hoped.
Establishing the security of your personal finances ensures that a business failure does not cause your entire micro-economy to collapse. Don’t bet your home on an untested venture. Look into becoming an LLC. And make sure no one failure means the end of your business journey.
Consider the Long-Term Effects of Current Trends
The coronavirus is a trend that is here today, and will be gone… someday. The point is that it will not be here forever. But it will have some lasting effects. You have to think about ways to help your business thrive during Covid. But that is not enough. You also have to think about ways the virus will change things in the long term. Bake those possibilities into your business plan. Some of those long term implications are as follows:
- People will be spending more time at home and less time on the go.
- People will be doing more communications over a smartphone or computer via the camera.
- People will be looking for more delivery options from the places they do business.
With a little research, you can forecast like the pros. Shine up your crystal ball and look ahead. Don’t just prepare for the realities of the moment.
Think Bigger but Start Smaller
If you wanted to quit after your first failure, you were probably not thinking big enough. You have to have a vision big enough to survive a few bumps in the road. That said, you have to take a smaller bite of the elephant. Don’t try to launch three locations before you have the first one functioning well. Don’t try to serve 50 menu items. Get really good at 10. Don’t launch with a TV marketing campaign. Try local SEO.
Initial failure in business is the norm. Make your second attempt more successful by shoring up your personal finances, considering long term trends, and taking smaller more measured steps toward your grand vision.