Ready for Reboot: What to Do After a Business Fails

It’s a hard pill to swallow, but it is what it is: failures are inevitable in business. In fact, they’re so common that they’re actually the norm, and success is the exception. It’s just that victories have always been what’s celebrated and glorified, plastered at the cover of business magazines, leaving stories of failures in the dark.

But despite the ever-present reality of failures, people still take the risk, try, and try again. That’s because what matters in failure is what you do after the fact. If you’ve experienced hitting rock bottom, here are the best ways to get ready for a reboot:

Re-trace your steps

Once you’ve released all that emotions, it’s time to do the dirty work of evaluating your business. The wisdom in grieving before doing this is you can now take a step back and look at the steps you took in the business journey more objectively because you’ve exhausted already all the hard feelings and given yourself time.

Now, in retracing your steps, pay attention to two things: what worked and what could have worked better. Be honest with yourself. And don’t hesitate to list down all possible opportunities in what could have worked better. That’s where you can draw ideas that would fuel your next venture.

So perhaps if your own restaurant idea hasn’t worked, then maybe starting a sandwich business as a franchise or putting your products online first could work better. Think like this when retracing your steps.

Acknowledge the failure

Some people who experience business failure tend to shrug off what happened by rushing into another venture. Put up another restaurant. Try a vegan cafe this time around. Or, partner with a big food brand. The busyness sometimes helps, giving you an outlet for your frustrations.

But understand that unless you recognise that you’ve experienced a loss, you will never be able to find healing personally and make the necessary changes in perspective, attitude, and skills in running your next venture. Take it easy. Don’t be so hard on yourself.

If you would need to grieve and take time off, do it. There’s no comfortable way of accepting that the business you’ve poured your heart, soul, and entire life is gone now, so mourn if you must.

Make sure though that you also know when to stop grieving and start picking yourself up. You have to make the resolve that you’re going to get back up and try again.

Surround yourself with the right people

Business team working

The people around you at your weakest point can make or break your healing process and ability to cope with failure. So, it’s important to have friends and family by your side, who would offer support, hope for your success, give the most brutal feedbacks, and comfort you all the same.

You need these people to keep your mental health intact. Connect with other entrepreneurs and mentors as well. You need them for your professional well-being. Join networking organisations in your locale. If you’re going the franchising route, build relationships with co-franchisees and seasoned entrepreneurs in your training sessions.

Failures are never easy. But they’re an inevitable part of business. Remember, though, that once you’ve experienced rock bottom, you can only go up from there.

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