Understanding our business failures is not a very encouraging feeling to go through. However, it’s an essential process that we need to endure so we get the best of everything. Not just our business, but the best of ourselves.
We are all guilty of grave mistakes but it’s these errors that we learn the most from.
But if we make error after error, is there a pattern occurring? When we get to the point that there are more failures than there are successes, it’s going to show up in problems across the board.
And if you haven’t felt the financial pinch or the culture of dissatisfaction in the organization, you soon will!
While we all need to take a long, hard look in the mirror, turning that mirror inside us is an extra process that every single entrepreneur needs to undergo. Not just so they become a better person in the business world, but these changes that can be made will result in a healthier, happier, and more productive company.
How can we look at our business failures, and turn them into positives? Here are some ways:
How to Understand Your Business Failures
1. Changing Your Perspective
Failure is such a bloated word. It is rife with connotations and it’s so unmistakable. The word failure conjures up so much bad imagery and negative vibes that it can suck us into a metaphorical black hole.
But to truly understand failure we need to know our perspective of the situation.
The idea of being unsuccessful can infiltrate into other areas of our lives if we’re not careful.
The problems we face, from our workers expressing their unhappiness to devastating client meetings, and numerous technological mishaps, can add up to one almighty negative sensation that can drag us down. Not just professionally, but personally.
The daring entrepreneur uses business failures and turns them into challenges to be overcome.
But before we can make any of these changes, we have to get a true idea of how we view failures. Are they major issues that mark an endpoint, or are they a transitional period?
2. Addressing The Structural And Organizational Failures
Once we are in the position to make positive changes, we have to be sure that we don’t get overwhelmed by the problems.
Prioritizing each individual problem in order of severity is one of the most basic, but effective, plans of action to overhaul an entire business.
While metrics and definite figures can provide us with ample clues, making the changes can be difficult when we have so many to address.
Sometimes, when it’s a technological problem, it’s a lot easier to fix. Something like the slowing of productivity can be traced back to the speed of your systems and internet, which can be fixed by implementing an internet speed test.
And from there, you may find that the vast majority of your productivity problems are solved. But, a shoddy worker blames their tools!
We can’t argue that our computer systems are the number one reason our business is failing. It’s to do with organizational and structural issues, either in terms of processes, or the culture of the business.
Addressing these problems can highlight some business mistakes. But by addressing these, one at a time, we can bring about change more effectively.
The temptation can be to fix as many problems as possible. However, it’s more effective in the day-to-day running of the business if you view the problems like a snowball, you tackle the smallest one first, then the next largest, and so on.
This will help your business to continue running in the meantime, without major changes causing incredible shake-ups of the organization that can be difficult to recover from in the short term.
3. Learning From Your Mistakes
We’ve all got to learn from our mistakes and business failures. Otherwise, what is the point in implementing something better?
It’s not just about learning from your mistakes right now, but how they have made dents into your business over the last few years, and understanding at what point you have gone down this terrible path.
It isn’t always procedural problems; it can be personal ones too.
The issues we have as leaders, even in our leadership style, or the lack of education we have in specific areas, can show up on our business like a smudge on a pristine first edition of Oliver Twist.
Sometimes we have to look at ourselves and ask the question, are we to blame for our business deteriorating rapidly?
It’s never a pleasant procedure to go through, but it’s an essential one. We will learn a few home truths, but by addressing these face-to-face, and admitting that we are to blame, we can go about, not just fixing these problems, but changing our entire attitude to the business.
Sometimes we can be too protective of our company that we started up many moons ago. That inability to let it go, even when it comes to something as simple as delegating duties, can have such a negative result on the culture and processes, that we are directly to blame.
But consider it to be the equivalent of counseling. Once you’ve brought these pressing problems to the surface, and you can see them for what they are, only then can you make positive changes, not just for your business, but for you also.
We can learn a lot about ourselves from the way we run our business.
When we are under tight deadlines, do we panic or do we embrace the situation? We’ve all had leaders that we’ve wondered how they even got to their position in the first place, but when you start a business, you created a leadership role, so you’ll have to embody it.
4. Creating an Action Plan to Progress Forward
You’ve done the soul-searching, you’ve found out your key business failures, and you’ve got the ball rolling. What else can you do to progress further forward?
In the topsy-turvy world of business, it’s not just about putting the plans into place, but it’s about ensuring this doesn’t happen again. While at the same time you are pushing forward, breaking new ground, but are sufficiently protecting yourself.
A good action plan is always a failsafe, but it’s a brilliant blueprint. It’s a way for you to continue in the right direction, while also ensuring that the business processes are evolving to provide the best for the business as well as the employees.
When implementing these plans, the employee can get knocked down the pecking order. When making positive changes to a business, though, and admitting you’ve done things wrong, your employees should be the first people you speak to, not just to offer your apologies, but to inspire them to keep with you, while you make the next transition.
Much like upscaling a business, creating new roles or getting rid of old ones will cause consternation in the ranks, and this is one thing that can cause a lack of productivity, worry.
We should always work with our employees in mind.
When we are turning the mirror inwards, our employees can get a lot of the blame. When in fact, it is the processes and ourselves that are more at fault.
To understand our business failures is to admit that we do things wrong.
This is very difficult for a lot of people in power, but if you look at the entrepreneurs that have strength, these people are able to admit their feelings, come clean, but also provide the goods.
Understanding our own business failures is one of the most important steps to understanding how we can progress onwards.
If we continue flying blindly, patting ourselves on the back every time we’ve made a very, very small success, and not address our continuing business failures, the business will head south.