Is that a question you are asking today? You are not alone! Bloomberg reports that 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs fail within 18 months of starting their businesses. So, what should you do to get a comeback after a business fails?
I am a serial entrepreneur. I have businesses in media, health & wellness, education, consulting and tech. But I got here after a series of failed businesses. I always made a comeback. So, I absolutely understand what it feels like to have a failed business. I have also learnt how to get back on my feet again after failing. I will be sharing that in this article.
But first, it will be nice to know why you failed in the first place. While I will be doing a detailed post on this later, lets quickly take a look at some reasons businesses are failing so rapidly these days.
Why your business failed
- It started for the wrong reasons.
- You were not ready enough.
- You misjudged the market
- You didn’t have enough running capital.
- You had personal struggles that affected the business.
Does any thing on that list look familiar? There’s more. Just come back again soon and I will show you many reasons businesses fail and how to avoid them.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We are still discussing how to start again if your business fails.
How to start again when your business fails
I was invited to speak a Business Breakfast Meeting in June 2016. I spoke on “How to Identify & Leverage on Business Opportunities in Lagos.” During the questions time, a dear lady stood up and asked “how do I start again after experiencing a very painful business failure?” That’s a good sign because she is willing to make a comeback unlike some people who will never attempt again after one failure.
Then, a month ago or so, I saw a question on Quora. The question reads;
“I feel like I’m getting nowhere in life. Failed business ideas and in a job I hate. What am I doing wrong?”
The answer I gave gladdened the person that they (Anonymous) thanked me and asked another question. I will share my answer below and explain further.
So how do I kick-start again after failing in business?
Get detailed answers to “why did I fail in the first place”
Many people like to say it is best to forget the past and forge ahead. I beg to differ. I will NOT forget the past until I have studied it and gleaned every useful lessons for the future. I know that I have promised to create a post on why businesses fail soon. But it will be nice to be honest with yourself and write down some of the reasons you think you may have failed in your last business(es). Don’t just make a mental note. Actually write something down.
Start again with baby steps
As humans when we fail, our confidence is affected in some way. Success is always more agreeable with our emotions and ego. So, it is very easy for us to not want to try again after one or several failed attempts at success.
So, what to do then? Start small again. Do a few deals here and there. Instead of trying to get a big bang comeback, do it gradually. One of the best ways to do this is to find a business that requires little or no capital to start. I have done an article on this. I think you will find it useful. Click: No Capital? 20 Businesses You Can Start.
Develop a Sellable Skill
One of the things that helped me in my days of struggle as a budding entrepreneur is that I had developed skills that came handy when I needed money to survive or develop a business idea. For example I sold my writing skills by ghost-writing for quite some time. I believe one can develop a new skill within one month if they are committed to it. For example, when my web developer refused to give me a payment plan for about 4 websites I needed to develop earlier this year, I got angry and told myself “I will not leave this office until I learn to develop websites.” I was in my office for the next one week without going home. I developed this website you are reading now.
Try a service business next
Finding money to buy goods for sale is not easy when you are still struggling. Even if you are not struggling, I suggest that your comeback should not be with products. This is to avoid you developing anxiety about not selling them and hurt the business confidence you want to build again. The “Develop a Sellable Skill” point above might even come handy.
Attend a few Business Workshops
One of the challenges of being an entrepreneur is the tendency to be alone. This is good to an extent because you are able to develop your business without distraction. But it is best to deliberately find people to network with. Find business oriented events to attend in your city. Whether they are networking events, training events or just a social event where entrepreneurs will gather, attend. There is something about hanging out with people of like minds.
Books, Books and Books!
I get a lot of encouragement and inspiration from reading. Find books written by entrepreneurs and leaders of business. They will help you to place all the ups and downs you have experienced in perspective. You will learn from their mistakes. Their success will inspire you.
Coaching & Mentoring
Find a great Business Coaching programme and enrol for it. A great coaching programme will be somewhat expensive but worth the investment in many ways. Ensure that the coach has a great track record and is an entrepreneur themself. Ensure their coaching programme is NOT the ONLY “business” they have.
A long-term approach is to get a mentor. I have done an article that will help you (by application) to attract a mentor to your life. Click here to get to it.
Hopefully, these few ideas have helped you. Do you need more help, post your questions in the comment section below and I will answer them as quick as I can. Cheers!