There’s one universal truth that applies to everyone in business: You have to be willing to take risks to succeed. Of course, taking risks sometimes results in failure, and it may even mean your business doesn’t pan out like you had planned. When that happens and you close up shop, you will surely face some struggles, but you also have an opportunity before you.
Learn from Your Mistakes
Closing a business that didn’t work out takes an emotional toll, so you probably don’t want to spend any more time thinking about failure. However, moving on without evaluating what went wrong (and for that matter, what went right) is a missed opportunity. Before formulating your next business plan or taking steps to start something new, spend some time looking back at the decisions you made, and run scenarios of how things could have worked out differently.
This is also the perfect time to invest in education and learn from other failed businesses. You now have the benefit of hindsight to see what did and didn’t work in your own business, but with it being such a recent experience, you still may not see everything clearly. Connect with a mentor, look for learning opportunities, and read about other entrepreneurs who made mistakes — and the business lessons you can learn from them.
Doing this may also help you see new options that will make your next business venture more successful. For example, many startups struggle because they can’t hire staff right away, which means they either stretch their budget too thin or they try to get by without having all the tools they need. Instead of letting these things hold you back, a perfect alternative is to hire freelancers through Upwork. What is Upwork, you ask? Upwork is essentially an online job board where you can connect with whatever kind of freelance work you need, whether it’s a short-term project like web design or ongoing roles that only require part-time hours, like administrative or sales experts. This is just one example of simple solutions you can find to common problems when you take the time to learn from them.
Do a Financial Self-Checkup
Sometimes, businesses close for reasons other than financial issues, but regardless of the situation, you’ll need to evaluate where you stand financially before making any major decisions about the future. For example, if your business left you with little capital, you may need to explore other funding options before starting over with something new. For some entrepreneurs, this means going back to being an employee, either long-term or temporarily, to save up the money it takes to invest in a new business.
Take a Step Back
One of our favorite tips for moving on from a failed business comes from Small Business Trends, and their advice is to take a little time for yourself. Maybe you want to go on a vacation, or you could take some time for a new hobby. However, you choose to do it, giving yourself a break will help you handle the emotional side of closing your business so you’ll be ready for a fresh start with whatever comes next.
Start Moving Forward
When you’re ready to take action on your next endeavor, be sure to apply everything you’ve learned from that past experience, along with the advice of business experts. For example, instead of starting with an idea, the experts at Forbes recommend starting with a problem — and then make sure your business idea provides a solution to that problem.
And while the right business model is part of what you need to succeed, you also need the right actions. That’s why Inc. says that entrepreneurs who are moving on after failure should “prioritize tasks that lead to change.” Your time is valuable, so make sure the actions you take are pushing you in the right direction.
The truth is that the whole process of closing a business is a learning experience, so you’ve already laid the groundwork for moving forward. Don’t forget that entrepreneurship always involves risk. Just don’t let the fear of failure keep you from taking the next risk — and missing out on the reward.
Author: Carla Lopez
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