With such buzzing entrepreneurial ecosystem in these years, the stories of million dollar startups are everywhere to see. However no one knows how many unsuccessful attempts one has made before success is tasted.
J.K. Rowling, the celebrated author of Harry Potter series, was empty handed, divorced and raising her child when she wrote her first book. To much dismay, her script was turned down by twelve publishers before finally getting lucky with Bloomsbury. Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Company, was broke five times with many failures before finally getting successful. Such stories are unlimited, but the inherent theme is same – Perseverance.
But the questions remains, how easy it is to have perseverance when businesses are failing, there is no cash flow, you are burdened with bills to be paid. What exactly keeps people like them to have their fire burning in the times of failures? The answer lies in what is your business and what is your relation with it. Lets come back to it again, sometime later.
With every failure you understand a lot about what went bad. This is a learning for the next run. The first step towards understanding your failure is identifying your own mistakes out of it. It may be the lag in marketing or fulfilling orders or bad product or diminishing the entrepreneurial fire within the founder. But there is a reason. And this becomes your first step towards your successful venture.
The relation of a founder and business should be very much like lovers. Might be separate at identity but same at the soul. If that goes missing in some venture, the road map for future gets bumpy as founders are themselves not sure in this case where to go!
With every failed startup what you learn is:
- Better decisions make better cash flows. Every failure is somewhere linked to incorrect or inappropriate decisions you took. Once you identify those decisions you are ready to fly.
- Service/ Product focus. Founders should be first satisfied customers of their own offerings. Before you set out on your entrepreneurial journey, it is important to understand that founder should be the first satisfied customer of his own business.
- Never let the entrepreneurial fire fade away. Most ventures are closed unsuccessful because they are left at a time when the magic is about to begin. Keep your faith in your idea and stay focused on it.
- Your business should be your love and passion. If you are working on something you do not like our know about, it is unlikely that you would succeed. Stay working on an idea which is your passion and doesn’t hurt you in investing time.
- Prioritization of your day to day tasks. With management of business and employees it is important to manage your own time as well. As a startup founder you may certainly have lots of stuff to do, prioritising them is the key to efficient management of your time.
- Sales Sales & Sales. This is very important. This you would definitely agree is the backbone of your business. Focus very much on the sales. This might mean chasing people, waiting in queues to meet them or even visiting same prospect multiple times.
- Never shy away. Socialize and let people know about your business. Never shy away from telling people about your business and your plans. Plan to build some contacts daily. It would be even better to set up a social target for yourself. More contacts would mean more coverage.
- Choose your niche. With so much competition having a distinguishing factor is important. If the sector is not niche, choose the offering and if offering is not niche, choose the packaging of the offering. Make something which should define your business and becomes your USP
- Enjoy the process of starting up. More than just working enjoy the entire process of building a company from scratch. Once you start enjoying it rest becomes gameplay.
- It takes time! Get things in order and be prepared to invest time in your business. Do not expect miracles in short durations of time. Building a company is like raising a newborn, it takes time to grow up and become independent.
- Sometimes it’s just luck. You may agree or disagree but sometimes it’s just luck and it is better to accept.
This is just a short list of a larger set of learning you can get from a failed startup. But what’s really important before starting a new venture is take learning from your last venture, be patient (take a time of 4 to 5 years for the business to start getting in shape) and enjoy your business and passion!