Learning from your Business Mistakes can be the key to success

90% of business startups will fail in the first five years. It’s a very sobering statistic- particularly for those who are at the beginning of their journey. However, considering all the obstacles facing new businesses, it’s not surprising that the majority of them will fail. Whether it’s the wrong product, the wrong price point, a lack of investment, too much competition or just plain bad luck, there are so many potential pitfalls. Now for the good news- failure, however large or small, provides experience, insight and puts you one step closer on the path to success. It may all sound quite cliché at this point but the ability to learn from past mistakes is an invaluable quality, for any business owner.

With this in mind, how should new businesses approach failure and is there a light and the end of the tunnel?

Manage Expectations

When starting a new company, there can be a lot of excitement and enthusiasm, with great expectations on the horizon. However, after operating in the business world, many startups soon realise just how difficult things are. Suddenly, all of those amazing milestones that you had planned are out of reach. It’s easy to feel like you’ve failed, but a change in perspective is required. Instead of focusing on the big picture, think smaller. Set manageable targets and celebrate when you reach these milestones. This could be anything from your first sale, to an increased follower count or a good review. Enjoy every success, no matter how small.


You’ve got a good product, decent investment and you’re ready to go- but nothing is happening. Many people assume that success is guaranteed and will come quickly but this just isn’t the case. Startups can have all the essential ingredients but it can take years for them to get any traction. Even with a good product and hard work, some companies fail altogether. At times like these, patience can be in short supply but it’s vital to ensure long-term success. If you believe in your business, you need to trust that it will succeed eventually.

Accept Criticism

Nobody likes criticism, especially when it’s aimed at something you’ve invested time, energy and money in to. It can be easy for new business owners to feel particularly attached to their company and it’s products. However, this can become a problem if this attachment clouds your objectivity. Feedback from consumers, even if its negative, can be an invaluable resource. If you keep hearing the same critique about your product, then there’s clearly an issue. Don’t be afraid to acknowledge criticism and make changes, even if it means letting go of a product.

Expect the Worst

As we have established, startup companies face an uphill challenge and many will not make it. Whilst a positive outlook is always a good thing, it’s also important to remain realistic. The business world is tough and healthy optimism should be paired with a contingency plan. Whether it’s a product launch, an interview with the bank or the day-to-day operations of the business, planning for the worst will provide a potential safety net. Although nobody wants to think about their company failing, it’s always better to have options, should the worst happen.

Ask for Help

Some business owners may find it difficult to ask for help but in some instances, this can mean the difference between success and failure. You may need advice from an accountant or bank in order to get your finances in order. Maybe someone who specialises in IT, marketing or manufacture could provide assistance with the growth of your business.

Independence and pride are admirable qualities but humility can be particularly important within business. Recognising that a mistake is not an abject failure but instead a steppingstone to greater success is paramount to building a business that will thrive.

The financial aspects of running a business can be particularly problematic. Fortunately, the experts at Fund Flow have years of experience in providing high quality accountancy services. Don’t hesitate to visit their website for more information on everything that Fund Flow has to offer.