Failure and business success are intertwined. Seasoned entrepreneurs know this pivotal truth. But most visionary founders don’t and so they may make the false assumption that the game is over before they have even began. So how should you handle a screw up or miscalculation with the finesse of Gates, Zuckerberg, Musk or Branson? Read these tips to learn more.
1. Take Action
Fear of success is the brother of fear of failure. They both hinder the aspiring entrepreneur’s brilliant thinking. Instead of making a gizmo and entering the market, he becomes obsessed with reinventing the wheel. Another startup guru enters the market with his idea.
To get over fear of failure, try imagining a worst-case scenario. Picture the obstacle and dealing with it effectively. Then move forward confident in your success.
Takeaway – Just do it.
2. Address Mistakes in Realtime
Thomas Edison said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
Mistakes are inevitable. Most entrepreneurs start their business thinking that their meticulous planning is a guarantee of smooth sailing. So, when issues happen, they tend to hope they will go away miraculously. But they don’t. They’ve only gotten bigger with dire consequences.
When you make a mistake, allow yourself time to hurt but don’t wallow in it. Apologize to the offended party. Listen intently to learn what went wrong and most importantly, to show you care. Finally, create a plan to avoid the mishap in the future.
Takeaway – Don’t be discouraged by setbacks. Cultivate a mindset based on creativity and flexibility.
A profitable venture has three separate and distinct elements that work together like a well-oiled machine. Here are some tips.
A. Establish a Unique Selling Proposition
Unless you know what makes a business unique in a sea of competitors, you can’t target your sales goals. The most important question to ask is why?
In the book Start with Why, Simon Sinek said, “The discovery of WHY completely changed my world…passion to a degree multiply greatly…”
B. Create a Selling Experience
Any marketing professional or sales guru will attest to the fact that today’s educated customer Expects stellar customer service. Customers believe that you should know who they are and what they like.
Effective measures include recognition, personalization and connecting with the customer emotionally, e.g., shopping lists, sharing with family and friends, etc.
C. Focus on Delivery
You must hit your stated target value and have a strategy to capture referrals.
Shipping and on time delivery of goods can make or break your business. A large portion, about 20% of dissatisfied customers, cite late delivery as the reason for bad service.
You probably already have a referral plan. However, do you have a formal way to thank the customers for their help?
D. Support key departments
Human resources, technology, accounting and law are key areas that factor into your ability to make economies of scale.
Business growth is defined as the acceleration of the three components and the hypervigilance to detect anything that would interfere with the process.
The romantic depiction of one man standing alone and conquering the evil forces through sheer brute strength is dead. One person can’t be ubiquitous or omnipresent. Horizontal performance is dangerous and could easily put your business in jeopardy.
Takeaway – Focus on the big picture and make vertical moves by asking for help.
4. Know Thy Target Market
Most failures happen quickly. The gadget you devoted your life to for the last six months has only sold two items since its launch last week. Customers are not walking through the front door of your 24/7 dessert shop. It seemed like an innovative idea at the time. Therein lies the problem.
Takeaway – eCommerce Market analysis requires two steps. 1. Identify problems and offer solutions. 2. Follow up with product optimization. Get input from customers.
If you consider your mistakes as invaluable data, you are sure to glean information that will steer you in the right direction.
Once you realize that you will make mistakes, you can stop fretting about it. Put it into perspective. Choose to use your energy and innovative thinking to extrapolate the kernels of truth to propel your startup forward.