Go from Failure to Success

Posted in Startups, Strategy, Tips

This is an amazing time to fail in business. Why? More people recognize how much can be learned from failures! Documentarian Morgan Spurlock created a new web series on business people who have tried and failed to get work going. The goal of the show is to encourage people in new business or life ventures. With all the negative news about the economy and businesses lately, the show should be informative and inspirational. Here are a few more signs that failure is not always a bad thing.

Failed CEOs are Experienced CEOs

According to Economic Times, CEOs and other workers who have experienced in a failed startup are welcomed with open arms due to their experiences. The IT industry is notoriously tolerant, after all if you’re not failing that could be a sign that you are not taking enough risks or avoiding creating something truly innovative. Since new technology builds on failure, technical small businesses should expect it.

What this means is you must adjust to and work around failure. A resilient work culture that can learn from failure means everyone uses bad experiences as a lesson. Hire employees who have had experiences in failed startups or who understand that their work will be frustrating at times. Discuss failed projects openly and honestly with people; it’s proof that you’re always developing products and ideas. Few people will look down on you because one venture failed.

Downsizing = A Second Chance

Cutting back on expenses or downsizing is painful, but it could be a way to reduce problems temporarily. Sears recently announced the closure of over 100 stores. According to the Boston Herald, part of its problem was outdated stores and surprisingly low electronics sales. If you’re having a hard time to adjusting to new changes and bad sales in your industry, reducing expenses just makes sense. Plan new growth or products while working in a more limited capacity. Though Sears hasn’t announced its future plans, it is fair to assume that it could easily open new stores once it figures out how to adjust.

Communication is Paramount

Failure is often a learning experience, but one area that requires near perfection is communication. Bad communication hurt financial services firm UBS, which is being sued by a former employee over his employment status. Resolve disagreements so future errors don’t snowball into something big. In the case of Newt Gingrich’s faltering campaign for the presidency, experts point to the inability to complete basic tasks as a sign of major communication problems. If you’re losing money due to forgetting to fill out certain forms, technical problems and other mishaps, reconsider your communication methods. The lack of strong communication is not only bad for your bottom line but is disruptive to the work culture.

Overall, failure should be expected sometimes, especially when a company is rolling out new products or making big changes. The key is to learn from it and make changes to reduce similar failures. Business schools around the country study failure due to its importance. Resources like the Harvard Business Review have great research on failure, so take their advice into account as well.

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