Are You Stymied by Failure to Fail?
The Sprocket Report
”Failure to Launch” is what you call it when adult children get stuck in familiar surroundings where they feel safe but are not progressing. Businesses stagnate the same way. Rather than risk losing everything, we’re afraid to try anything new. By our failure to fail, we may be holding ourselves back from success.
If you’re like most businesses, the fear of making a big mistake may petrify you into taking the safer way. But honestly, how many mistakes are there from which we can’t ever recover? Since it’s definitely true that we learn a whole lot from our mistakes, shouldn’t we be failing as fast as we can?
Here are some of the common places business owners wimp out when they really should take the plunge:
When your business is your baby, it’s so hard to let someone else get close to it. But don’t forget that it takes a village to raise a child, and that goes for your business, too. It is rarely in the best interest of growth to be doing everything yourself. Outsourcing some of your day-to-day activities frees you to do higher level activities that benefit your business.
It’s a chicken-and-the-egg problem: If you hire a salesman, who will do the new work? But there won’t be new work to do if you don’t hire a salesman. Yes, it’s scary to pay two salaries before getting the pipeline working reliably, but your company simply can’t grow until you get beyond that threshold. Experiment with some creative hiring like part-time, commission-based or contract work to ease the risk.
Trade shows and social media, sponsorships and postcards – there are many ways to spend your marketing budget. While marketing isn’t cheap, trying out one form won’t bankrupt you. Whether your marketing effort is a wild success or a dismal failure, measure everything and keep detailed notes so you know what to tweak next time. Maybe the message was right but the medium was wrong. If you’re jumping around without measuring, it’s difficult to decide what doesn’t work for your business and what can be fine-tuned to work better.
Unlike gamblers who like to go all or nothing for the big win, folks who have worked hard to build up their business tend to be conservative – maybe even too conservative. But if your default action is to do nothing dangerously new, taking a small, calculated risk could pay off big time. And if you fail, you can cross that one off your list and build on what you just successfully learned about your business.
As web developers, we believe in measuring and using analytics to study marketing. If you aren’t getting enough information about your website and social media efforts to guide you in making good decisions, contact us. We’d be happy to help you find a solution to get the knowledge you need.