Important lessons we learnt from our failed businesses.

Let’s face it, no one wants to hear about failures. The media glorifies success but seldom share the details of progress, failures and the difficulties behind every successful company. While we wouldn’t call our business “successful”, we most definitely had our fair share of failures and lessons learnt before being able to run a profitable business.

  • Learn as much as you can so that you can DIY to keep expenses low.

When we started our first business we were still in school and had little practical hands-on skills which made marketing our own products difficult. We had to learn everything from scratch and spent our free time learning skills in photoshop, video editing, illustration and content writing for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). While our first business was a complete flop, we later brought the skills we gained to our later businesses and gained more success.

  • Take calculated risks.

Calculated risks are decisions that have been analysed and identified to have potential gains that outweigh the possibility and magnitude of potential losses. While risk is always present, taking calculated risks ensures that you do not stagnate while at the same time be able to handle whatever losses may occur. For us, we always weigh what is most likely to happen, what is the best and worst case scenario and are we able to handle them before making a decision.

  • Do not be afraid to spend money that needs to be spent.

You will need money to make money and this can be the same about investing in your business. Take calculated risks and invest in things that will give your business potential to grow not just in the short term but in the long term as well. When we began our online business, we were hesitant about spending extra money to set up the checkout and payment gateway function on our website as this meant a lot of extra cost. After careful consideration, we went ahead with it and saw our sales increase significantly as our customers found it easier to purchase direct from our website.

  • Burn out is normal – it is perfectly okay to take a break.

Sometimes running a business can feel like you are running in circles and not getting anywhere and that really sucks. We have had our fair share of burnouts especially so as we were running our business on top of our day jobs. While it is perfectly fine to take a break, always ensure that you are able to pick yourself back up and continue moving forward and working on your business. Doing the little things is better than doing nothing at all!

  • Taking a wrong step is better than not taking any steps.

“Failure is the mother of success” cannot hold truer in the business world and we can attest to that from our own experiences. Every mistake and every misstep have led us to where we are today. If there is something you have been meaning to do but haven’t gotten down to doing it, give it a shot today! Even if you are unsuccessful, at least you will be able to eliminate an option and move on to try other things.

If you are an aspiring entrepreneur trying to set up your own business, do not be afraid of the failures that will most definitely come with it. Enjoy the process, embrace the failures and you will get there eventually!

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