As entrepreneurs, we often focus on our success stories, but it’s equally important to acknowledge our failures and learn from them. In 2013, I set out to create a thriving barbering salon business with a social impact plan of sending employees back to school with profits from the business. However, my startup failed. Looking back, I realize there were key mistakes we made that could have been avoided.
- Lack of Planning
One of the main reasons our startup failed was that we didn’t have a solid plan in place. While I had a great idea and support, I didn’t put anything on paper. I failed to realize that even as a small business, having a plan is crucial to predicting the future and setting goals. As an entrepreneur, it’s important to take the time to create a business plan that outlines your vision, goals, target market, and financial projections.
- Lack of Mentorship
Mentorship was another key component that we lacked. I saw my competitors as enemies, rather than potential mentors. As a result, I failed to consult with anyone and didn’t seek advice from experienced entrepreneurs. This resulted in a lack of guidance, which could have helped our business thrive.
- Rushing Without Research
I was so eager to start the business that I rushed without doing proper research. This led to launching the business without consulting potential employees or researching the market demand. As a result, we had a structure and equipment, but no one to work.
- Partnership Strategy Gone Wrong
Choosing the right business partner is crucial, but we failed to assess our strengths and weaknesses and create a plan to balance them. While we both had passion, we lacked the skills needed to run the business effectively. This resulted in a lack of synergy and ultimately contributed to the failure of the business.
- Focusing on Social Impact Instead of Profitability
One of our biggest mistakes was focusing on the social impact of our business instead of profitability. While the social impact is important, it’s equally important to focus on making sustainable profits before planning to give back to society. As an entrepreneur, it’s crucial to find a balance between social impact and profitability.
In conclusion, failure is an inevitable part of entrepreneurship, but it’s important to learn from our mistakes and use them as lessons to improve future ventures. Aspiring entrepreneurs should take the time to plan, seek mentorship, do proper research, choose the right business partners, and find a balance between social impact and profitability.
Article by Prince Akpah, founder of Avance Media.