How to bounce back from business failure

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Monday, 15 June 2015 - Last Updated on June 17, 2015

words-416435_640Twenty years ago, Regina was a successful executive working at a large multinational company. She quit her job when she had her second baby. Regina and her husband agreed that it was best if she stayed home to take better care of their two children. Her husband, a banker assumed the financial responsibility of raising a family.

Last year, Regina’s friend encouraged her to apply for a milk tea franchise. Her friend has been running her own franchise for three years already and she was about to open a new one. Inspired by her friend’s success, Regina decided to use her savings to open up her own store in the city where she currently resides.

It seemed like a perfect location for a milk tea store. It was located along the main road. There was a big school and several boarding houses nearby.

Things went smoothly at first. The opening of a new milk tea store in the area caught the attention of students, nearby residents and passersby. Regina was more than delighted with her sales during the first half of the year.

The entrepreneurial bug bit Regina, so to speak. When a business space near her store became available, she grabbed the opportunity to put up a new and totally different business. This time, Regina opened up a small cupcake shop.

Clients were drawn to the cute and dainty decorations of the store. The cupcakes which Elena baked herself became a hit, especially among students.

Regina later realized that managing two new stores was not an easy feat. She focused more on her cupcake shop and neglected her milk tea store. Lack of supervision, tempted one of the employees assigned at the milk tea store to steal money. Regina’s failure to check the books cost her a lot of money. Business problems suddenly came pouring in. It reached the point where Regina had to let go of her milk tea shop. Devastated by the turn of events, she attributed her failure to her impulsive actions, lack of experience and poor financial decisions.
Regina is forced to take a loan to cover for her losses and sustain her remaining business. She knew that it might take at least two years before she can get her return on investment.

The collapse of her first business crumpled Regina’s entrepreneurial spirit. She is afraid that she will not be able to manage her cupcake store well and end up losing again. How does someone like Regina bounce back after failing in business?

Here are some tips to help you recover from business failure.

1. Recognize your loss. – The first thing to do is to acknowledge what happened. It’s not easy to accept that the money and effort you invested in your business didn’t pay off as expected. The disappointment of failing can shatter your vision. The fear of losing again can discourage you from trying again. Wallowing in failure will only prevent you from recovering from your loss. The best way to help yourself is to face reality and move on.

2. Own up to your failure. – When we fail at something, it’s easier to point fingers at other people and factors beyond our control such as economy, market, competitors, etc.
In business, it is important to have courage to take responsibility for your both your triumphs and failures.

See yourself as the person in control and not someone who is at the mercy of external factors that you cannot control. As an entrepreneur, learn to accept responsibility for your actions, whether they came out positive or negative. If it’s the latter, learn to adapt to the situation and find possible solutions to challenges.

Business people who deny their responsibility put themselves at risk of committing the same mistakes in the future.

3. Analyze your mistakes. It’s normal to make mistakes when running a small business. However, there are costly mistakes that may lead to loss. Instead of crying over spilled milk, the best thing to do is to analyze your business errors to find out what happened. Retrace your actions or steps to pinpoint possible mistakes that may have led to poor business decisions. Ask yourself what you could have done differently to solve the problem or deal with the situation.

4. Look at the situation from an outsider’s angle. Sometimes it’s difficult to maintain an objective stand when you are studying your decisions and strategies. You can enlist the help of an outsider (someone not connected in the business) to help you analyze your actions.

5. Learn from your mistakes. You may be able to determine where you probably went wrong after making a personal review of your mistakes and looking at your actions through someone else’s perspective. Use all the information you gathered to your advantage. Take note of bad business decisions, wrong assumptions, and inappropriate strategies. Avoid committing those same errors by taking a different and new approach based on the situation.

6. It’s time to move on. Muster the courage and try again. Don’t let failure become a permanent part of your life by moving forward. If you believe that you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur, renew your commitment to business by creating a new plan. Forbes recommends getting a business mentor.

Regina wants to be a wiser business person. It has always been her dream to be a successful entrepreneur. Although she failed in her first attempt, Regina wants to make things work this time. She plans to get the advice of her close friend who owns a small bakeshop that also specializes in cupcakes. Regina also intends to join a business seminar to gain valuable knowledge in operating her business and take advantage of business networking opportunities.

A mentor is someone who has more experience in a particular line of business. This person can help you hone your skills and abilities that will benefit your business. A mentor can offer advices in dealing with challenges and problems. He/she can also give you suggestions regarding business strategies and action plans to improve efficiency, optimize sales, increase output, and so on.


Photo c/o Pixabay. Public domain.
Rachel Yapchiongco, also known as Rach to her friends, is a Psychology and Marketing Management graduate of De La Salle University. Rachel is a chocolate lover, full-time mom to a charming young boy and married to an entrepreneur who has a passion for cooking. She shares parenting experiences and slices of everyday life on her personal blog called Heart of Rachel.

Ma. Rachel Yapchiongco (389 Posts)

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