“Failure is not the opposite of success; it’s part of success” – Arianna Huffington.
The earlier you understand this, the better it is. The lessons our failure teaches us, help us in our journey towards success.
Do you know, 90% of the startups fail within the first five years, and almost 70% of the startups fail within the first two years of operations.
It’s been 5 years since I have been managing Apna Writer operations, and till now, we have been blessed with decent success. Luckily, we have crossed this benchmark.
But it’s not just because of luck. It’s all because of the teachings that my failed startup taught me.
Yes, it’s not a typing error. I have encountered heavy defeats in my entrepreneurial journey, but that’s just a small (but important) part of the continuous journey.
It made me strong, made me analyze my mistakes, work on them, and come up with a better and foolproof idea – Apna Writer.
To help you create a successful career in the entrepreneurial journey, I’m going to share the top six lessons that my failed venture taught me.
1. It’s All About The Customers
Your customers should have the highest priority in every business decision you are going to make because they are the ones who are going to pay you. You need to understand what your customer wants, so you need to research their pain points and their desires.
You can’t just go to your audience and start pitching your services. There are hundreds of competitors reaching out to your target audience using the same approach. How will you make a difference and stand out from the crowd?
As the saying goes, “Benefits sell, features don’t.” – it’s the emotions and the connection that will help you make the transaction successful.
You need to understand your customers inside out. More than your product or service, it’s all about the difference it can make in your target audience’s lives.
2. Gain The Trust
Building a genuine relationship with your clients is one of the important aspects of retaining your clients for the long term. You need to gain the trust of your clients to ensure that they stick with your venture for a long time.
Leave them with an unforgettable experience through your brand, and you’ll be amazed to see how they’ll reciprocate by referring your brand to others in their network.
No matter how many facilities/options you provide to your clients, it all boils down to how solid your relationship is with your clients.
Be professional in your work approach and always aim to provide a greater customer experience to gain the trust that helps in business growth.
3. Take It Slow
When you start any venture, I understand there’s a lot of adrenaline rush to make things happen, achieve your initial goals, and create your presence in the industry.
But you need to slow things down and channelize your energy to optimize your work processes. Whenever you start a venture, everything is raw. Everything is not organized well enough to deliver top-notch efficiency.
But as the saying goes, “Systems work; people don’t.”
Don’t go gung-ho and compete with the best in the industry at the launch itself. Instead, start slowly, establish yourself, improve your service/product, gain the confidence of your audience, trust your team and then gradually compete with others.
4. Have Control Over Your Budget
You need to manage your budget wisely. Never spend too much money on a venture without actually reaching your customers. While you are in the initial journey of your business, you need to focus on improving, and the best way to do that is by seriously considering customer feedback.
Nothing should be more precious to your business than your target audience and existing customers telling you what they like and dislike about your offers. If you keep on flushing your money to create the best product or service for your customers without listening to them, you’ll eventually fail.
The key is, no matter how much we think we know, the reality is different and we never know what’s right for the audience until we hear them. They are the ones who can tell us what’s best for them, and as business owners, our duty is to listen to them for their benefit as well as ours.
5. Effective Marketing
Marketing is one of the most effective arsenals in your ammunition. It is only because of effective marketing campaigns that you can reach out to your target audience. Marketing helps you reach clients & hence it plays a key role in the success.
You should definitely strategize your marketing channels and approach in advance. With digital marketing revolutionizing the marketing industry, you can perform micro-targeting and reach out to your customers in the most cost-effective way possible.
Research, implement and optimize your marketing campaigns to strengthen your approach for extracting your desired outcomes.
6. Be Crystal Clear In Communications
Always be clear in communicating with your client everything related to their project. This is how they will come to trust you. They are paying for it, and so they deserve to know.
Provide them the details of your progress, keep them up to date about what’s happening and the plan so that you regularly stay in touch with your clients and build a healthy bond via professional communications.
Clients love it if their associates are transparent about the workflow. It will help you in the long run because one happy and satisfied client can open a hundred doors of future opportunities for your business.
These are the most fruitful learnings that my first failed startup, Content Kart, taught me.
Grasp. Implement. Grow
Now that you know what mistakes not to make, use the lessons in your venture to strengthen your startup and scale it up.
If you are still coping with a failed business, let me remind you, it’s just a phase in your life. Treat your failures as life lessons, learn from them, and optimize your business, considering your customers in mind.
There are tons of opportunities waiting for you to explore and make it big. Don’t lose hope. Just keep the hustle going.
All the best with your startup. My best wishes for its growth. Go make it big.