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When things go wrong

  • Blog
  • 15 August 2016

No matter how much you believe in what you do, sometimes things just don’t work out. How do you deal with failure, and how do you bounce back?

Failure is a fact of life. That’s just how it is. Sometimes, your best efforts don’t yield the results you were hoping for.

There are many reasons why small businesses fail. Poor cash flow, lack of focus or planning, not monitoring performance. There are also big things that could have easily been avoided by taking some steps to protect the business early on, like a lack of insurance or tax bills.

When things go wrong

Whatever the reason, there are some steps you can take to ease the blow.

Failing small at the beginning

A new idea that looks like a gap in the market is all well and good but do your research. If it doesn’t work on paper it won’t work in real life. It’s better to fail before you invest a lot of money into something. There is no shame in admitting defeat early on and getting out with your pride, and

Prepare to fail

This may sound counter intuitive but you need to be prepared for failure. There is almost always a chance that you might not succeed. There are always risks.

You need to change your mindset towards failure.  You can’t expect that nothing will ever go wrong. Have a plan, build a reserve fund into that plan and be emotionally prepared for the fact that, despite hard work and good intentions, sometimes things go awry.

Don’t take it personally

It is possible that your Sometimes your big idea just doesn’t catch on, no matter how much research you put into it. Or you put a lot of effort, time and money into something and it simply doesn’t work out. However, either of these are still better than failing because of poor financial management, for example.

It is a fact that life is not fair. Cut your losses and don’t take it personally. You’ve already done something that many people never will, start your own business, that many people never will. Take pride in that.


There comes a point when you have to accept that it’s over. Dealing with this situation can be difficult and you need to be prepared for a lot of strong emotions. Remember that you are not alone I this. Some of today’s most successful entrepreneurs failed, sometimes more than once, before they succeeded.

Take responsibility

Don’t look to lay the blame elsewhere. Take stock of the full situation,  admit your role in it and take ownership of your mistakes. It’s emotionally easier to find the fault with someone or something else but you need


Once the dust has settled, sit down and figure out what went wrong. Study it and learn the lesson. You have to take a step back and see the entire situation for what it was. Take a step back. Be realistic and brutally honest with yourself.

Failure is part of life. The thing that matters isn’t that you failed but how you recover from it. Get up and hold your chin high that you gave it your best shot. Then start again.

FSB Business Continuity from FSB

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