By Renato Agrella, the founder of 2A Consulting.
In life we're faced with many challenges, from playground fights to personal rejections. Our ability to learn from those challenging situations and move on are key to being successful. Businesses are no different -- if anything they're an augmented version of our lives. Growing up in Venezuela, where inflation was in the triple digits and red tape was the norm, I learned how to harness resiliency and use it to thrive during adverse situations. This ability has shaped my outlook as an entrepreneur and taught me that failure can get you closer to success when you use it right.
Entrepreneurs possess a good dose of resiliency whether they know it or not. But more importantly, their success often depends on their ability to inject resiliency into their businesses. I've started several companies. Some have failed and others are still going strong. In all of my dealings, resiliency is something I continue to hone and strive for. Based on what I've experienced over the years, here are three tips to boost your company's ability to bounce back:
Know Your Business Inside and Out
Even before you start your business, make it a priority to understand the fundamentals of what makes it tick. How does it make money? What are the operating costs? How many employees does it need? What does success look like? What is its growth trajectory? Businesses, and how they're constructed, vary widely. Some have to prioritize controlling inventory costs, while others are all about managing payroll and account receivables. Knowing the elements of how your business operates will allow you to recover more quickly when something inevitably breaks down.
Foster a Growth Mentality
Your company is as strong as its weakest employee, so promoting a culture where failure is accepted and encouraged allows employees to openly learn from mistakes and managers to get to root causes quickly. The key is to capture failure and address it in a constructive way. Start off by acknowledging small failures, as this is a topic that not everyone is comfortable with in a professional setting. Doing so will foster a growth mentality and your organization will be better equipped to deal with, learn from and leverage failure.
Play to Your Strengths
The life of an entrepreneur runs on opportunities, but not all of them are worth pursuing. You're going to encounter dozens of opportunities that may appear tangential to your core strengths, yet they can steer you away from your business objectives. Remember, it's OK to let some pass by. Ignore leads that you know you can't deliver on. Stick to your business's core strengths to start building out your offerings. Take small steps into new territory, and do so when the stakes are low. This will allow you to experiment with new products or services in a controlled environment and recover faster when failure happens.
Know what moves your business, embrace failure and stay true to your core strengths to sew some resilience into your business. When you're disciplined about these three areas, you'll notice a difference in your business' ability to recover quickly from failure.
A natural people-connector with a strategic mindset, Renato Agrella helps clients leverage marketing to accelerate the sales cycle and fuel growth. He is the founder of 2A Consulting.