|| UJJWAL BHARDWAJ ||
All successful businesspersons believe in this: “You learn a lot more from mistakes and failures than all your accomplishments.” The failures can be their own or others’ but there are lessons to be learnt from those who have failed but found a way to bounce back, stronger than ever. Here are some tips to help you hit the ground running when the going gets tough.
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1. Accept the situation
Losing a job is bad enough, but when you lose nearly all or fail at something you had given your heart and soul to, it is heartbreaking. However, it’s not the end of the world. Find that fire in your belly to motivate yourself; because you tried once before, you will try again.
2. Analyse it and get feedback
While it’s easy to slip into blamestorm mode, don’t. Instead, do a post-mortem of what went wrong and make sure you address these issues pronto when you get back on your feet. But this doesn’t mean you should not give less importance to the things you got right as you have to ensure they continue to go right.
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The best way to get a picture of what you did right and where you went wrong is to ask customers or peers. This also gives you an accurate picture of where exactly you stand with them. Get their feedback on all aspects of your products or services, where they want improvement or why they stopped (if they did) using your products or services. The easiest way to do this is to email survey forms with three to five questions.
3. Network, network, network
Okay, so you have identified the resources you have, but you’ll need a good network to source what you don’t. Locate those who will be interested in your business, either financially or intellectually, so they can boost the success of your venture. This requires a lot of work and staying power because your startup is now rock bottom. Boost your learning by taking up appropriate courses, keep meeting new people and stand by your business. All this will contribute to a higher chance of success.
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4. Rope in new advisors
Give serious thought to roping in experts to help you with specific aspects of your business because they will bring a fresh perspective. Locate those who have had experience in your industry, or with a competitor, as it is important to understand how your competitor is faring too.
5. Look at competition
Carefully study how your competitors are doing. You will have an idea of who their customers are by scouring their websites and apps. Get all information possible through press releases, social media and news reports. Identify exactly what your most successful competitors are doing better than you, and brainstorm how you can give them a run for their money.
If your products or services are so niche that you don’t have competitors, it’s going to be much harder to create a whole new market from scratch. Instead of great your target audience with something totally radical, try changing your output to suit already existing ideas so customers will feel more comfortable with trying it.
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6. Don’t let ego get in the way
Sometimes, all expert advice and your research may point you to altering your offering so much it looks like an entirely new product. Don’t let ego come in the way of acceptance as this ought to be a change you should make. The Statistic Brain Research Institute says 25 percent of startups fail in their first year, and the number doesn’t get much better as the years progress. This is why sticking doggedly to your idea could be risky. Many fragile egos have made the mistake of sticking with their product, only to lose out on the opportunity of success. Be flexible to change when change is needed, and be stubborn when you know that what you’re offering is what the market needs.
Take stock of your resources and consult experts to identify areas that need improvement. Success won’t happen overnight, but keep your goal in sight always. As said by someone “Chase the vision, not the money; the money will end up following you.”