Published On: Thu, Dec 10th, 2020

Dealing With the Failure of a Business

There is a worrying stat which I believe to still be true about businesses and that is the percentage of businesses which will fail. It is said that 49% of businesses will fail in the first 3 years, of those businesses which are able to survive and make it through the first 3 years, 52% of them will fail before they are able to reach the 5 year mark. 

This is particularly comporting for me, as I have been through the failure of a business, so it is nice to see that I am not alone. The brilliant Stephen Stapinski Andover was instrumental in getting me off the floor after my business failed and without him I don’t think I would’ve launched a business again. Steven offers some brilliant guidance videos and does regular podcast features where he talks about business. I took much of his advice during that difficult time. Given how brutal this year has been for many business owners, if there is anyone out there who has been forced to close this year, here are some tips which helped me to get through it. 

photo/ Gerd Altmann

Call it a Step

Referring to the failure of your business as a step may sound pretty simple but having this thought process enables you to really think more positively about what has happened. As soon as I was able to think of the failure of the business as a step, I was able to begin to pick the bones out of what happened with much more clarity. This change in thought took me from feeling bad and feeling like a failure, to feeling like someone who was going to learn a valuable lesson and move on. 


Now that I had the attitude that this was just a bump in the road, I sat down and wrote out a huge amount of information about what had been the contributory factors in the failure of the business. Because I was now viewing this as a step, I was able to write down this information from the point of view ‘how can avoid this happening again’? One I had made this realization the whole process became much easier. 

Get Back on the Horse

Assuming you are not financially destroyed by this failure, you should spend a month or so having your pity party and then get back on the horse and start planning your next business move. Almost every successful CEO in the country has taken a business and failed, they didn’t give up, they dusted themselves down and then got right back in the saddle, and that is what you will need to do as well. It can be hard of course but as long as you have invested time in dissecting what went wrong, then are going to be in the perfect position to relaunch, 

Take your time, reflect, and don’t give up on business simply because things didn’t go to plan.

Author: James Daniel

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