As you build your startup you are bound to experience peaks and valleys, as every small business does. What separates successful businesses from those less likely to succeed is their ability to overcome adversity, and learn from their mistakes in order to reach the top of the mountain.
Here are 5 ways to deal with startup setbacks:
1. You’re going to Need Help – Many entrepreneurs believe that they can do it all on their own. The same can be said for those rebounding from a setback. The fact of the matter is, you cannot do it alone, at some point you are going to need help. Whether you need someone to bounce ideas off of, put you in touch with a business contact or just lend an ear, you’ll need the help of others and they’ll be happy to give it.
2. Change is Not a Bad Thing – Setbacks are a catalyst for change. Something in your business activities wasn’t producing the desired results. Now it’s time to begin again and that means making changes in the way you operate. Altering your business model, or rebranding your business doesn’t mean that you failed; it means you’re smart enough to know when something isn’t working. Whether it’s an employee or a business practice, know when to let it go and start anew.
3. Offense is the Best Defense – When you’re at the top of your game and things are going well, it is easy to push money-making opportunities to the bottom of your to-do list. If you have a dozen or so clients, and one or two go elsewhere, the financial impact can be devastating. Whether it’s actively seeking new clients, customers or streams of revenue, your business will always need a solid pipeline and a steady revenue stream. Bottom line: always think ahead and remember your priorities.
4. Cash is King - In business you are always making money and spending money; the fact is there will be rainy days. Setbacks can be financially draining so it is imperative that you have a financial plan in place. Most financial advisors suggest that you should be prepared to float your business for between 5-8 months, so start building an emergency fund immediately to prepare for those lean times. Your financial plan should take into consideration how much you make, how much you spend and how much you would need to keep your business running smoothly during a setback.
5. Embrace Setbacks – You will experience more setbacks than success, particularly in your first 2-3 years. These setbacks are brilliant and necessary opportunities to learn and grow your company to the next level. When you look back you will realize that the most challenging times were the most important for your personal and professional growth, and you will never learn more about yourself or your business than you will when you hit a rough patch. Donald Cyprian, Founder of Christian and Faith-Based Social Media Platform Instant Christ(TM)