by Tumi Frazier, founder of Tumi Frazier International
I’ve been asked to comment on the question of how entrepreneurs bounce back from a business failure so many times that I decided to write this article. Here’s an interesting thing - recent statistics show that at least two-thirds of enterprises survive 2 years in business, half of all businesses survive at least 5 years, and one-third survive 10 years. So how do these business survivors do it?
In South Africa in particular, on average 50% of all start-up businesses fail within 24 months due to various reasons which include lack of resources, skills and inexperience of business owners, even if they have access to funds. So, the longer a company has been in business, the more likely it is to stay in business — it’s the first few years that are the hardest.
Essentially, entrepreneurs know all about failure. So, what separates the best from the rest is resilience, the ability to bounce back, over and over again.
Sometimes business failure may be as a result of conditions beyond your control despite passion, good intentions, hard work and sleepless nights, failure is always a possibility. So, don’t beat yourself up over things you have no control over. Note that failure is an important part of the learning process because mistakes are just opportunities to learn something new.
So, if you find you have made a mistake, don’t get stuck there. Seek help from experts, listen to feedback, self-correct and keep moving towards your business goal. The only failure is failing to learn from your mistakes.
Remember, the test of a successful entrepreneur is not the ability to eliminate all problems in business, but rather the ability to find solutions to difficulties when you encounter them.
It is the ability to get up and start again when you’ve been knocked down that counts; this is what makes you a winner.
So, learn whatever lesson there is to learn from the experience, take accountability, but then start again because for every failure, there is an alternative course of action. You just have to find it.
Note, resilience is one of the traits funders look for in entrepreneurs. In fact, some venture capitalists believe an entrepreneur who has failed in business before has a better chance of succeeding because this entrepreneur has already learned from his/her mistakes and therefore is considered a “better risk” as she/he has developed resilience, persistence and other entrepreneurial skill sets that enables him/her to move through obstacles to success.
So, a business failure doesn’t mean that YOU are a failure. Learn to embrace failure as part of business; if you can’t, then you can’t win.
Tumi Frazier is a South African entrepreneur, professional speaker, author, TV personality, consultant, and founder of Tumi Frazier International, Tumi Leadership Academy, and Tumi Foundation. Tumi is an internationally acclaimed Leadership and Change Management expert who has worked with high profile clients and organizations across Africa, United States and Europe. Tumi has authored 4 books: Courageous Stories of Inspiration; In the Midst of the Storm; Stepping Stones to Success; and Your Moment. Follow Tumi Twitter | LinkedIn
Read more articles by Tumi....