Anyone who ventures out on his or her own in business is likely to experience many highs and lows. Failure simply comes with the territory. How you recover from failure speaks volumes about your ability to lead and be successful. With that in mind, here are a few pointers on what to do when you know a marketing attempt is a complete bust.
Have a good relationship with failure
It’s been said that failure is the greatest teacher. Trial and error is the foundation of every great success. Don’t take it personally and don’t lose sight of your goals. Expect and embrace failure as part of your overall success and just keep working hard.
Admit that things went wrong
Admitting this truth can be tough when dealing with investors, employees, contractors, etc. who are relying on you to get paid or see a return on their investments. Always have a Plan B at the ready and be honest with the people your failure affects. You are much more likely to maintain some key relationships if you don’t keep people in the dark or turn tail and run when things get messy.
Fix what you can
Decide if there is anything salvageable in the situation and do what you can to turn things around. Sometimes a slight shift in your marketing strategy is all it takes to start seeing positive results. Do not, however, keep beating dead horses in the hopes that a miracle will happen. It won’t. It will just cost you more in money, time, and reputation waiting for one.
Determine what went wrong
Retrace your steps and try to get to the bottom of what happened. Maybe it just wasn’t the right moment for this kind of venture. Maybe you overlooked something crucial. Confront the issue with a critical eye and make changes based on sound, thorough analysis.
Learn from your mistake and move on
Leave mistakes where they happen. Learn from them, but don’t dwell on them. You are smart enough and fortuitous enough to get past this mishap. Refer to steps 1-4 above and venture into new territory with confidence. Any successful person has encountered plenty of failures; a true professional knows how to move past them and continue on their path for success.
While these might seem like simplistic solutions to more complex problems, they really aren’t. Understanding the importance of the above steps is foundational to developing a healthy relationship with failure. If you can manage that, success is inevitable.