When running your own business, failure is a major part of the process. An important aspect of getting over business failure has to do with mindset. How you handle any failure determines whether or not it leads to success in the long run. So how can you bravely face the failures in your business and make strategic decisions going forward in order to improve the business and thrive long term? Here are some ways.

Run a SWOT analysis of your business

Knowing your strengths and weaknesses can help you run a business that isn’t inclined to fail as easily. A SWOT analysis looks at your business's internal and external strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. The goal of this activity is to find out what's working and what's not. Think about where you want your business to be, understand where you are right now, and use the results of your SWOT analysis to make a list of the goals and strategies you want to achieve in the future.

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Pay special attention to your customers 

Without more customers, it will be hard to keep doing business. If you can't get new leads, prospects, or customers, you need to focus on the ones you already have. Paying special attention to your most frequent and loyal customers can be one of the smartest business moves you can make. This is because they already know you and the value you offer and will be easier to convert than a stranger. This can be done by targeting them specifically and offering them discounts or new products with email marketing campaigns or other marketing mechanisms.

Manage your cash flow

When business is down, every Rand is a soldier. Meaning that you need to take care of every single cent in your business bank account. Without a steady flow of cash, it will become increasingly hard to keep your doors open. There are lots of ways you can manage your cash flow: This includes sending out your invoices on time to get paid quickly. Clients who owe you money and haven't paid you in weeks should be contacted.  Consider accepting deposit payments in advance. Use an accounts receivable financing service, and if possible, add the rest of the money to your bank account. And don't fall behind on your own bills to avoid having to pay more money. You may also want to consider a Cash Advance which is a funding solution tailored specially to retail businesses by working in line with turnover. 

Plan for hard times 

Planning and getting ready for hard times like an economic downturn, recession or pandemic, can help keep a company from going out of business and help you get through rough times when they happen. When you have to deal with unexpected problems that make you feel stressed, your mind gets jumbled and it can be difficult to make good decisions in the moment. But if you have strategies in place for that rainy day, then you can go straight into execution mode and put your contingency plans into place without having to think through difficult scenarios from scratch.

Don't make decisions based on how you feel

One reason many businesses fail is that people make business decisions based on their feelings. In these moments it’s very important to take a few minutes to calm down and think clearly again if you want to get past the obstacles. Go for a walk, get a cup of coffee, or seek advice from a mentor, therapist or friend. When problems come up, entrepreneurs need to be encouraged and reassured but also metabolize the emotional triggers without making rash decisions. 

The bottom line

Even if your business is failing, it's not the end of the world. You will definitely run into problems along the way, but you will also figure out how to get past them. One of the hardest things for many entrepreneurs to learn is how to deal with business failure in a logical way. No business owner wants to put money into a new company only to see it fail within a year. But if you approach failure as a learning curve rather than a sentencing, it can offer an enormous opportunity for growth and resilience in the years ahead.

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