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  Every entrepreneur dreams of success. If you’re one, you’ve probably imagined building a thriving business, one that plays a big role in its market, solving big problems and raking in huge profits while at it. Unfortunately, things don’t always pan out this way. About 80% of businesses fail within their first five years of existence, according to publicly available data.
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Chances are that you’ve either had a failed business at some point in the past or are just shuttering one right now. If that’s the case, this article is for you. Here, we’ll walk you through the steps you can take to bounce back from it all, much stronger, and to do better going forward. We discuss those steps below.

Accept and Reflect

For extremely driven individuals, there will be the temptation to have an immediate go at a new venture as soon as one fails. But that’s probably not the best way to approach this matter. Instead, take some time out to reflect on the experience. Work things out on an emotional level. Also, came to realize that failing at a business doesn’t equal personal failure. This allows you to set things in proper perspective and lay the groundwork for a recovery.

Learn from Mistakes

Every failure presents an opportunity to learn. Likely, some actions or inaction on your part (or on the part of other team members which you should have corrected) contributed to the failure. Find out the reasons behind the business’s downfall and pinpoint the mistakes made along the way. Was it a flawed business model, insufficient market research, or poor financial management? Probing for such faults will enable you to discover things to fix or avoid in your next attempt at building a business.

Seek Feedback

Reach out to mentors, advisors, and industry experts for feedback. They may provide some valuable insights into what went wrong and offer guidance on areas that need improvement. Honest feedback can be difficult to hear, but it is an essential part of the recovery process.

Embrace Resilience

Entrepreneurship is rough. It almost always requires that you have a strong backbone, and can take a fall when it happens. Failure, while painful, gives you a chance to build the strength of character you’d need to weather future storms. Know that setbacks are not permanent, and the ability to bounce back is a testament to your resilience. Keep a positive mindset and focus on the lessons learned from the experience.
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Access Financials and Restructure

Quite often, your financial records will contain indicators as to what went wrong with your operations. If you’re trying to get to the bottom of things, you must thoroughly review your financials. Find out the extent of losses the business has suffered, and create a realistic recovery plan. This may involve negotiating with creditors, liquidating assets, or exploring financial assistance options.

Rebrand and Reinvent Yourself

A rebrand has to be on the cards if you’re looking to get back into business at some point. This could either be a revamp of the old business’s identity, of you as a venture builder, or both. After all, you want the world to think of you and your business in terms of present wins, rather than point back to past misadventures. Use the lessons learned from the failed venture to redefine your goals, values, and business strategies. A fresh start with a new perspective can reinvigorate your entrepreneurial spirit and attract potential investors or partners.

Network and Build Relationships

Networking is a powerful tool for recovery. It can work like therapy, letting you rebuild your confidence, and also allowing you to make connections that’ll serve you well in your next business. So, leverage your professional connections to explore new opportunities. Attend industry events, join entrepreneurial communities, and seek out partnerships. Doing these things can open doors to fresh ideas, collaborations, and potential investors.

Diversify Your Skills and Knowledge

Use the downtime after a failed venture to enhance your skills and broaden your knowledge base. Go to workshops, take relevant courses, and stay updated on industry trends. A diverse skill set can make you a more versatile and resilient entrepreneur. You will need all the capabilities you can muster for your future endeavours.
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Final Words

Recovering from a failed business venture is undoubtedly a challenging process, but it’s also an opportunity for growth and transformation. When you learn from mistakes and embrace resilience, you can turn setbacks into stepping stones toward future success. Failure is not the end but a crucial part of the journey towards entrepreneurial excellence.
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This article was first published on 25th December 2023 and updated on January 3rd, 2024 at 10:51 pm


Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.

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