“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” – Henry Ford
While there are no guarantees throughout the road to success, one thing you can be sure of is that you will hit some bumps along the way. Failure is a part of entrepreneurship. It does not have to be the kiss of death.
Failure is nothing to fear, as long as you are able to learn and grow from it. Let’s discuss some common missteps that could actually catapult your startup to a higher level of success down the road.
Failed Product Ideas.
Reed Hastings, founder of Netflix, got the idea for a better way to handle movie rentals after receiving a $40 late fee. However, his new pay-per-rental business did not do well at first, as customers did not see what made it different from any other movie rental company.
So, Hastings took all of that negative customer feedback to heart and changed his model to a monthly subscription service. The result of this failure changed the process of renting movies forever, and turned Netflix into the iconic company that it is today.
Rejection fuels innovation. So, if the market doesn’t totally love your first business idea, it is by no means a sign that you should give up. Product flops show you what customers don’t need or want, and can be just the inspiration you need to come up with the next great idea or way to refine your current one. Even if you can’t spare all your time, you can always find a way (and enough passion) to run a business on the side, until it’s big enough to scale.
A website is the virtual lifeblood for a young startup. However, a website that is riddled with profit slashing mistakes could also be the beginning of the end.
A business’s website should be all about creating a positive user experience and establishing trust that encourages not only sales, but brand loyalty. Simple errors like poor navigation, lack of call-to-action buttons, or forgetting to optimize for mobile can drive customers away left and right.
Keep an eye out for signs that your website could use a redesign, such as high bounce rates or abandoned carts. A poorly designed website could lead a new business to its downfall if mistakes are not quickly corrected.
Marketing can have a major impact on the success or failure of a brand, and nothing makes this more apparent than an embarrassing blunder. Such mistakes happen more frequently and faster on digital channels like social media.
Focusing your marketing strategy on the wrong target audience is surefire way to see customer disengagement. In fact, multiple studies have found that most consumers will block communication from businesses that sent them irrelevant marketing emails and notifications, killing that brand’s chance of ever making a sale.
If your startup is guilty of making this common marketing mess up, there’s no need to fret. A mistake like this can open your eyes to the importance of proper targeting and help you realign your strategies to find a more precise solution.
While entrepreneurs certainly have many praiseworthy virtues, patience is not often one of them. Success takes time, but many Silicon Valley stars are eager to make their first million as soon as they can.
Harland Sanders sought success in the food industry, but his recipe was rejected from hundreds of restaurants before he finally started his own chain… at the age of 65!
We’ve all been to KFC.
The truth is success in business does not happen overnight. Impatience can be a common contributor as to why 25% of new businesses fail within the first year. Patience is a difficult virtue to learn, but it is definitely something you need to adopt. Over-eagerness and scrambling is a recipe for mistakes. Always be patient and wait for the right moment.
Over to You.
Many business owners and entrepreneurs credit their past mistakes as the catalysts that turned them into the successful people they are today. Making a mistake is NOT the end if you are able to learn, grow, and improve from it.
Pratik Dholakiya is the Co-Founder of E2M, a full service digital marketing agency and MoveoApps, a mobile app development company. He regularly speaks at various conferences about SEO, Content Marketing, Growth Hacking, Entrepreneurship and Digital PR. Pratik has spoken at NextBigWhat’s UnPluggd, IIT-Bombay, SMX Israel, and other major events across Asia. He has been named one of the top content marketing influencers by Onalytica three years in a row.