What's Worse Than Failure to Launch? Holding Your Business Back in Fear of Failure!
When young adults are too comfortable in the family home to strike out on their own we call it “failure to launch.” Businesses, too, get stuck where they feel safe and stop progressing. Trying something new could mean risking everything you’ve built up till now – and that’s frightening! But your failure to fail may be holding you back from the success you're seeking.
The fear of making a big mistake may petrify you into taking the safer way, but, honestly, how many mistakes are there from which you won’t ever recover? Risk analysis can help put those fears into perspective, which can be enormously helpful. After all, we learn so much more from our mistakes than from our successes. Experts say we should fail as fast as possible and then build on that new knowledge.
So let’s take a look at some of the common mistakes business owners make by avoiding a risk when they really should take the plunge:
When your business is your baby, it’s so hard to let someone else take control of even a small piece of it. But don’t forget that it takes a village to raise a child, and that goes for your business, too. If you have to touch everything, you usually become a bottleneck which is never conducive to growth. Outsourcing some of your day-to-day activities frees you to do higher level activities that will better benefit your business.
It’s a chicken-and-the-egg problem: If hire some help, will there be enough new work to keep them busy? But you will never be able to take on new work if you don’t have help lined up. 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 such as part-time, commission-based, or contract work to ease the risk.
Social media, digital advertising, direct mail – there are many ways to spend your marketing budget. While marketing isn’t cheap, experimenting with 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. Just remember, that if you’re jumping around without measuring, you’ll never know what’s working or what can be fine-tuned to work better.
Unlike gamblers who 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 new, taking a small, calculated risk could pay off big time. And if you fail? Cross that option off your list and build on what you just learned. Step by step, you will build your business toward new heights of success.
In our experience, measuring and analyzing your marketing is essential to making smart decisions. If you aren’t getting enough information about your website and social media efforts to guide you, give us a call. We offer a number of tools at different price points to help you understand how your business is doing online.
Photo by Pixabay: https://www.pexels.com/photo/sea-flight-sky-earth-2163/
This article is an update to “Are You Stymied by Failure to Fail?” dated 9/14/2014.