By Jerry Mooney
If you’re new to the world of business and your company is still young, now is the perfect time to think about business failure and its inevitable consequences. That might seem like a strange thing to say to someone who is running a new company and is hoping to see it grow and thrive in the months and years ahead. But, in fact, there is nothing wrong with understanding failure and what it could mean for you. It will help you to stay on track and avoid the potential disaster lying in wait.
Product Failures Can be Lethal
Products should always be tested to breaking point before they are unleashed on the market. It’s a good idea to use tools and techniques such as FMEA to test the potential weaknesses and failings of a product. You need to know and understand what could go wrong. It’s much better to find these weaknesses before the product is released than afterwards when your customers have already handed over their money. If you have to recall a product, it could deal a blow to your business that it never recovers from, which is not something you want to let happen.
No Business is Safe and Secure
No business can be guaranteed success. That’s the unpalatable truth of running a business. Even the biggest and most successful companies out there are susceptible to failure. Every company is just a few poor decisions away from tanking and losing everything. No business is secure. Even Apple and Microsoft could be forgotten in a couple of decades. If they don’t move with new trends, they could be on the scrapheap. And if it can happen to them, it can happen to you too.
Getting Too Comfortable Can Lead to an Almighty Fall
A bit of early success for a new business can only be a good thing, right? Well, yes, but not entirely. Early success can often be misleading. What matters more is how you sustain early gains and keep them consistent. Sky high initial sales and success if not worth much if it crashes back down to earth with a bang a couple of months later. And getting too self-assured by that early success can be even more dangerous. You don’t want to get comfortable because that’s when you get complacent too.
Most Businesses Do Fail and Fail Badly
The fact of the matter is, most startups fail. And most of them fail within 12 months of opening up. That’s one of those facts that you’ve probably heard a million times before. I’m not repeating it to put you have going into business and becoming an entrepreneur. But it is really important to be realistic about how difficult your challenge is going to be when it comes to running a company and getting it to where you want it to be. If you think it’s going to be a walk in the park, you’re going to be in for something of a surprise.
Bouncing Back After a Big Business Failure is Not as Easy as Some Say
You often see a lot of success stories about people who suffered massive failures in business only to get back up and find success. Of course, these stories are true, and things like that do happen. However, these are the minority. What you don’t hear about is all the bad scenarios in which people crash their business, and then go on to get an ordinary day job. That’s what happens most of the time, but it doesn’t make for the same kind of feel-good story as the ones we want to hear and read about.
However, Learning From Mistakes and Failings is Never a Bad Thing
Everyone who runs a business makes mistakes at some time or other. That’s just how it is. If you want to get ahead and make sure that you always progress in your career, you need to recognize this fact. There is nothing wrong with making mistakes if you learn from them. That might be a hard mindset to adopt if you do experience the failure of a business you started. But putting a positive spin on things and getting up and starting again will be much easier if you do have that mindset.
No one wants to imagine that their business is going to crash and burn. That much is obvious. But by being aware of the worst case scenario, you can work hard to ensure that it never turns into a reality. That’s what matters most.