Failure is not a single, cataclysmic event. You don’t fail overnight. Instead, failure is a few errors in judgement, repeated every day.
We all make mistakes. These mistakes can and usually do lead to failure. Failure of a project, task, deliverable, or worse, your business! It unfortunately happens all the time. Businesses usually fail for 2 key reasons: bad product and/or service, and many mistakes over a period of time that add up to a cataclysmic event.
Brendan and I have made many mistakes over the years, all businesses do, and yes we are still paying for some of them, learning from others, but most importantly figuring out how to prevent errors in judgment, and when they happen how to quickly resolve them – not so easy!
Like misery, way too often failure enjoys the same company. I’ve seen more startups, entrepreneurs, and small businesses over the years fail by aligning themselves with “partners” that are also on the road to failure. News flash – two failures don’t make a success!
Here’s the problem. Often young businesses seek help and support from other young businesses. This is normal. Non-competitive businesses like to and sometimes need to build relationships with each other. This is not a bad thing. At Brendan & Brendan we have many partners we leverage and vice versa. But, we don’t just pick partners and build business relationships with individuals because they are our friends. We do our due diligence. We look at their client list. We get feedback from the community. Watch their progress. Follow their achievements and success.
Don’t trust just anybody with your clients. You’ve worked hard to build those relationships. If anyone is going to fail them it should be you.
Let’s take a look at a common and yet easily avoidable error:
Company X is going through year one growing pains. Money is tight. Feedback on product is not great. Exposure, what exposure? Set goals are becoming more difficult to achieve and few things are working out as planned. The board is getting antsy. Investors are unhappy. It’s desperate. What happens next is way too common.
Founder of failing company X decides to team up with a dev team who happens to be in the same shared space with them. Reasoning “we’re all friends”, “we share a space”, “we can help each other”. The problem is, the small dev team is in the same boat. Failure + Failure = Massive-Failure-Pack-Your-Bags-And-Go-Home!
If my business needs help the last person(s) I would seek help from is another failing business.
Recently, I’ve learned that the best advice doesn’t always come from within your industry but from the backbone of any business – your lawyer and your accountant. Why? Because a lawyer or accountant who you can trust, who has your back, and has proven themselves to be of benefit to your business can help support you in ways you never thought of. They seen it all, heard it, and have been a part of it all.
I’ll gladly pay a few hundred or thousand dollars to get advice from either of these professionals if it will save me tens of thousands down the road. After all the only real success of a business is revenue.