7 Lessons A Startup Failure Teaches You
Read industry data relevant to a startup’s success. Learning from others’ failures can be productive for your plans.
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If we were talking about inventing something, we would have told you to keep on trying and don’t give up. Running a business during the start is a fragile phase. An entrepreneur can’t simply afford to fail too much and lose the investment, just for the sake of trying again and again.
That’s why we research on multiple aspects and try to get our hands on any type of authentic industry data that would be relevant to a startup’s success. Learning from others’ failures can also be productive for your plans. Let’s have a look at several facets of business failures that can help you make the right decisions.
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7 Lessons a Startup Failure Teaches Us
1. Preparing for the Unseen
No matter how sharp your strategy is, things won’t always go your way. You are likely to face the heat of existing players, new entrants, unseen challenges, and even better modifications of your rolled-out product to surprise you.
With a strong determination of sticking with the game plan even when the losses start to accumulate, it is a mistake to not be ready with backup plans. You have to visualize and take care of every possible unfavorable scenario in advance, not after you start to sail through the rough waters. Picture the concealed obstacles and learn the skills that would steer your startup towards profitability — this is the value you get when stepping out of your comfort zone.
Failure humiliates and humility teaches us to be humble. By being humble, you would neither be blinded by the phenomenon of beginner's luck nor slow down on your efforts by tasting success at an early stage and feeling like a conqueror. Failure tells you that there are certain things out there that you cannot achieve. It urges winners to learn from the deficiencies in their efforts and get better for the next time.
An aggressive approach eats up your resources and energy at a rapid rate, i.e., 135% of the normal operations for instance. Excess speed may get the job done, but things would wear out quickly. Hence, that’s not an elastic way to achieve success.
If you are here for the long term, your plans should be able to endure both good and bad results with minimum effect on the ultimate goal. After all, what is it that stays with you forever? A modest attitude with a meticulous consistency.
3. Offer What People Need, Not What Others Are Selling
The hunger to become the market leader doesn’t do well for most organizations. Moreover, the idea of ‘what people want’ is not limited to the problem of competition but the usability of a product as well. If you have discovered a brand new idea, then your next step must be to do some market research before you start investing. See if people actually love and pay for your prototypes or not. Proceed according to the data you get, not what you believe.
4. Understand How the World Works and How to Navigate Through the Obstacles
A failed concept is generally tried again with newer insights, not the old mistakes. Thus, a startup’s failure is a source of actual market data that you can learn from. By observing others’ failures, you get to know about the strategies that did not work and the factors that resulted in losses.
Imagine the importance of useful data that you can gather with someone else’s failure, such as consumer feedback for a particular product, target audience’s response in terms of sales, how many employees were needed to get the job done, how the utilization of capital was done, etc.
5. Don’t Ignore the Professional Opinion
Too much of self-belief and stubbornness is often deteriorating for startups. Therefore, explore and don’t hesitate to bring in the best people to work with you. Sometimes, a good idea doesn’t sell itself and professionals are needed to market it properly. Expert opinions from successful veterans are also very beneficial most of the time. Wise people will point you in the right direction, but you have to carve the path yourself.
6. What Doesn’t Work, Stop It. What Works, Take Advantage of It
As an example, there is no point to get all sizes of shoes manufactured, if only three or four sizes make 90% of your customers. You may want to ignore that 10% portion of the customer base which consumes an equal amount of marketing budget and other resources like the rest, a highly effective trait observed in the e-commerce industry.
Figure out the thresholds, learn to say ‘no’ to the underperforming audiences, and expand your reach by targeting only the most fruitful groups. What doesn’t work is a liability or waste that can accumulate unwanted costs, and eliminating waste is one of the most effective lessons a startup failure teaches us.
Opportunities are not found but created. If you see some potential in a project and have decided to pursue that course, then be ready to give your 100% without distractions. Do not give up and always be ready to find an answer to a problem. Never think ‘it’s not possible’ and indulge yourself in ‘how do we do it’ part. Lack of enthusiasm and reluctance to learn the hard way is one of the reasons why many entrepreneurs fail to succeed.
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