Failing Forward: How to Move on from a Startup Setback

As the statistics surrounding new businesses prove, starting a new business is a substantial risk for anyone. Most entrepreneurs have to start multiple businesses before they find an idea and a process that works. In all aspects of life, learning from our failures as much as our successes is crucial in our development.  We have compiled a few tips from our experience working with startups and entrepreneurs to hopefully help you get back into action after a less than successful startup venture.

Don’t rush into any decisions

It is natural to feel pressure to jump back into something new after a failed start up, but don’t let that pressure influence your decisions too heavily. Reflect and wait for the right opportunity. With the right focus and strategy, your next venture will be the one you were meant to start the whole time.

Use the failure as a time of reflection

Again, learning from failures is crucial in eventual success. Ask yourself where things went wrong and analyze the reasons behind the lack of success.  Oh, and be honest with yourself.

Actively seek feedback from others

Ask partners, employees, customers, or any other stakeholders that are available and willing to help for their opinions. Create open dialogue and don’t be afraid to take harsh criticism. Acknowledging our own short comings can be difficult, but it’s essential. Find people who will be upfront and honest with you. Their outside perspective can be as valuable as your own.

Use the time to create a strategy for your next move

Now that you have reflected, and sought the feedback of others, use the information you gained to avoid repeating the same mistakes. You may need to place your focus on different areas, cut down on the number of partners/investors, or start smaller and let your business grow organically. This is a perfect time to get out the whiteboard and start mapping everything out.

Find your motivation

Now you are ready to launch back into the game, but make sure to avoid the pressure to jump into a “get rich quick” scheme. A failed startup will surely come with some debt and a feeling of a need to provide. It’ll be tempting to jump into the first situation that comes along that will allow you to make money to either pay off that debt or to play catch-up. Startups take too much time and effort for money to be the only motivation. If you start a business with money as the only motivation, you will surely burn out fast. Find something you’re passionate and excited about before jumping into another venture.

We are firm believers that we should all embrace our failures and setbacks to learn from them and get back into the game even stronger than before.  We hope these tips are helpful if you are ever faced with a startup business setback. Contact the Anders Startup Team to learn how we can help set up your startup for success.