The Business Column - ISSUE 2 (MK)
Our business column is brought to you by Liam Sharp, director of two successful businesses, The Happy Corp ltd and Peace Of Mind Accounting Solutions Ltd. An entrepreneur with a gift of creating something from nothing and a passion for helping others do the same.
Mind Your Own Business.
They say (whoever “they” are) that 98% of businesses fail. I’ll tell you now that all businesses fail. It’s just a matter of when. If you were to ask me how many businesses I've had, I’d have to sit back and try to remember them all. Even if you asked me how many I have now I’d probably close my eyes, tilt my head up to the side and have a quick count. If you have ever had a business and it’s not worked out as you had hoped, why do you think that was? Not enough funding? Lack of resources? Or any other reason you could think of.
The hard truth is that for all of us who have failed businesses in our wake, It wasn’t a lack of resources. It was a lack of resourcefulness.
We’re at the controls and if we veer off into a rock then that’s only our own doing. Business is about constantly overcoming unexpected challenges and adapting. If it didn’t work out, then we either made the wrong choice or we chose not to make a choice and fate decided for us.
The thing is, you can’t give a child a basketball and expect them to nail a perfect swoosh from never having played before. It takes repetition and adjustments to get the trajectory right. Business is no different. Let’s be honest with one another. people like you and I had our first businesses we didn’t know what we were doing but like true sprouting entrepreneurs we said “Yeah, I can do that!” and then we fumbled our way through, learning as we went.
Our own past experiences are the best guide to navigate our future ventures, so the more experiences you have the better. A failure isn’t a failure if you learn from it. Just if you put the ball down and never take another shot.
If you saw my previous piece on Leadership, then you may recall the part about responsibility. In every aspect of our businesses, in every situation we find ourselves in, it’s our business, it’s our responsibility! From personal experience, I know as well as anyone that sometimes things are out of our hands. It could be an issue with suppliers or logistics or anything where the business relies on an external person or organisation. When these things go wrong, we never try to pass the buck or shift the blame when explaining to the customer that their project is delayed. Why?... Because we have integrity and it may not be our fault but it’s always our responsibility! Own every part of your business, including the failures. They’re your failures, you earned them.
I’ll close by saying that just because your business isn’t going as well as you hoped or has even had to close. It’s ok. Your first business is unlikely to be your last business. So don’t label it a failure, label it a lesson and do it again!