Starting Over: How To Survive Failure In Business 

Starting Over: How To Survive Failure In Business 

If you are not failing, then you are not even trying. When you start a business, there is a very big chance that it will fail. That doesn’t make you a failure, well, that depends on how you handle it. It takes grit and perseverance to survive failure in business.

There will be times when you will wish that you had done things differently. In fact, you will want to quit business entirely because you just don’t see how you will make it there.

Related: 10 real causes of small business failure in Africa

Hear this, as an entrepreneur; you will need to get comfortable with failing in some of your business endeavors. It will always pop up in one area or the other or in one business or the other. It is best if you are prepared for it.

The statistics below from the U.S. Small Business Administration is reflective of the above postulations. It states that about 20% of small businesses don’t make it beyond their first year. Almost 50% don’t stay open to celebrate their 5-year anniversary. More damning is the fact that only one-third of establishments are still open for business after 10 years.

The record may not be very comprehensive but it does tell us that there is a higher possibility of failure than success. Some people don’t survive but you can survive failure in business with the right mindset and orientation.

We have compiled tips on how to survive failure in business. We hope it will help you stay strong and become better.

Tips On How To Survive Failure In Business

survive failure in business

  1. Practice acceptance and self-care

You should know that failing is not peculiar to you. It is something that happens even to the best in business. Why kill yourself about it. You should spare yourself and take care of yourself. Don’t go too hard on yourself.

Accepting failure is one of the best ways to survive failure in business. You have to take a little time to mourn your loss and rediscover yourself without your business as your identity.

This will help you greatly as it has helped many people who have failed in one business or the other.

According to Nitin Seth, “Accepting failure is, in and of itself, very tough, and sometimes it’s easier to be in denial than accept that the venture you put your heart, soul, blood, and sweat into will not come to fruition,” he is the CEO of Incedo and he faced business failure earlier in his carrier.

Karen Ellis who worked with founders has this to say about founders and failure. “[We] want our founders to fail fast. This may sound counterintuitive, but our rationale is that entrepreneurs are innovators who will continue to create… “There is no reason to believe that because your most recent venture didn’t end the way you envisioned it your next brilliant idea won’t be the one that propels you to success,”

  1. Evaluate what went wrong

It is one thing to fail and it is another thing to remain where you failed. One of the ways to survive failure in business is to rise up immediately and an analysis of what went wrong.

You need to why you failed by doing an autopsy on your business. Pick the bits and pieces and see where it failed apart. The essence of doing this is to learn.

We are structured to learn from our mistakes and this means that dissecting our mistake which is the business failure will teach us what went wrong and how to correct it in our next endeavor.

  1. Handle your finances

    survive failure in business

When there is a business failure, money is usually an issue. You will need to handle your finances if you will survive failure in business. You will need to settle outstanding debts because there are chances that you have them and you will need to take care of your other financial responsibilities.

Simply put, you will need to pay your debts and settle your bills. The recommendation here is for you to reach out to other networks on both professional and personal level to know if you can get their help.

They can help you with money or with a job. You can be working for someone else so as to sort yourself out and to take some time to recover and re-strategize before moving back to starting your own business.

The experience of Mike Sims is very insightful. He created a social media app for musicians that failed but went on to become successful from creating a business from the job he took after the initial failure. Below is his experience in his words;

I needed more funds just to survive after my venture ended, so I started promoting myself as a business plan writer on freelance sites. Six months later, I was the top business planner on one of the largest freelance sites … I soon realized that I had accidentally uncovered a unique problem for app entrepreneurs, and I had the ability to solve it,”

“While my original idea app didn’t work, I have now helped dozens of app entrepreneurs build, find funding for and launch their mobile apps. From my experience, I learned that failure is only a matter of perception. Where one person finds a failed venture, an entrepreneur with the right mindset can find a valuable pivot or a new opportunity,”

  1. Build a support network

This is the point that will be useless if you don’t already have them in existence. When you don’t need them, you should build a good social and business network. This will help you survive failure in business.

When it (business failure) happens, you will need a place to fall back on and shoulders that will carry through the tough times.

According to Seth, “friends and family, who can provide support, offer unbiased advice, root for your success, and offer honest feedback, keep you grounded in the face of adversity. I cannot imagine a better antidote to setbacks,”

Surrounding yourself with people who genuinely care about your well-being is crucial for getting back on your feet and moving on. “Appreciate the value of relationships and build them when you need them the least,” said Seth.

The above is on the social level. On the business level, you will need to have a good network of other entrepreneurs. According to Ellis, “Once you begin thinking and surrounding yourself with other entrepreneurs, the sky is the limit. The resources you need will find you; that’s just how it works.

  1. Reinvent yourself

Like the proverbial bird, the Phoenix, you must learn how to reinvent yourself in business. It is quite crucial if you want to survive failure in business or you will just stay on the ground. You will need to have the “never say die” spirit.

The next step after failure in business will determine how far you will go. You will develop a solid and formidable roadmap towards your next business venture.

You can do one of three things; re-enter the workforce in a familiar industry, pursue an entirely new profession, or start another business. Whichever one you decide to do, you will need to do it well.

For those that will start new businesses, Sims has this to tell you; “Take the time to learn and to build up knowledge in the areas that led to your venture’s failure. Avoid making the same mistake twice, and use your past experience to propel your future.”

Rivers on her part is of the view that “When starting over after a hard fall from grace, it’s important to find a new venture that aligns with your passion and enables you to grow at a steady pace.”

We want you to bear in mind that failure is almost inevitable. We also want you to have the mindset you need to survive failure in business, that survival is also inevitable. The tips above will guide and prepare you for the next challenge. We are proud of you. Good luck.