Failures happen to everybody sometimes. When these happen in the world of business, these can not only be very frustrating, but also very expensive.

There are several things you can do to prepare for failure, so that when it strikes you can bounce back to your feet faster.

What is Failure?

At the end of the day, only you can decide when your business has failed. It’s not a decision to make lightly, and it is something to put time and thought into. Some of today's most popular brands were written off as failures before they came flying into success.

This being said, if you don’t see a possible future for your business plan, it's probably best to put an end to it.
Key signs of business failure don’t stem from an abrupt drop in sales and interest, but rather from a pattern of reduction in these areas. 
If your sales are low, but on an upward trend, you shouldn't consider your prospects a failure. But if you find that previously recurring clients or customers are losing interest, it's a big sign that things aren’t going well. If things are bleak enough that you have to keep cutting costs, this is going to stifle your growth. Take these long-term trends as a sign of long-term future prospects.

How to Reduce the Impact of Failure

The best way to reduce the impact of business failure is to prepare for it. If you are an entrepreneur with lots of business ideas, some of those prospects are bound to perform better than others.

Enter the arena with the understanding that it can take multiple tries to succeed, and that sometimes you will fail. This will enable you to cut your losses and move on from a failure, rather than overcommitting which can leave you dismal and defeated.

What to Do When Failure Strikes

Business failure can be particularly bad if you haven’t prepared for it. 

It’s important not to take it too personally. No matter how hard we try or how passionate we are, some ideas will inevitably fail. 
But it is essential to reflect on failure and what you can learn from it. This is as vital in business just as much as it is in any other area of life. 
  • Is your business idea a good one?
  • Is there an audience for it? 
  • Are you setting realistic goals?
  • Is there something setting you apart from competitors? 
  • Did problems start arising from the beginning or after a specific milestone?

These are just some of the questions you should be asking yourself before, during and after a business is established. 
In the end, there is always a bright side to any business endeavour. So long as you learn lessons from your business failure, you can use this as a new advantage in future endeavours. 
If you’re still short of advice on entrepreneurship and new business endeavours, the NZ SME&E Festival powered by Xero in Auckland is the place to be! Grab your tickets now and join an exciting cohort of like-minded entrepreneurs with an eye for success. 


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