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Starting over

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So you’ve terminated your business. Don’t be too saddened by this. Running a business through its complete cycle, from startup to closure, can be a valuable learning experience to an entrepreneur. But you will have to make sure that you do learn from your experiences.

Before you start again, here are some questions to ask about how you ran your last business. Ponder these questions and perhaps you can reduce the risk of pre-terminating your next business idea yet again.

Were you truly passionate about your idea?

Passion is a key ingredient for many new businesses. This is because the drive, determination and single-minded pursuit of a concept can allow even poorly-funded ventures to survive, simply by the sheer willpower of the owner.

Did you really go the extra mile for your last business? Did you stay up late at night, thinking of ways to solve problems, or excitedly thinking up new ways to conquer your markets? If not, then perhaps the passion was not too strong in your enterprise. And with less passion comes less chances to quickly take advantage of opportunities when they arise.

For your next startup, see if you have the fire in you that can make you want to push for survival regardless what happens.

Did you have the right people?

Many small businesses flounder simply because the entrepreneur hires anybody who cares to apply into his or her organization regardless of qualifications.

At the onset, it is generally useful to hire people you can trust. So if you can get your friends or family into the business, then this may cut down on the costs of controlling the organization (since we assume that they will hopefully abide by your instructions without need for much motivation). But sooner or later, you will have to hire third-party candidates. And when that happens, you have to be less compromising in your standards.

For your next startup, be sure to screen your applicants very well. Are they REALLY the kind of people who you’d want to have working for you? Equally important: do they truly understand what your vision is all about? And do they really want to be a part of it?

Do you have the right business model?

Did your previous business model make sense? Because you will have to spend quite some time meditating on what went wrong.

Sometimes, what seems to be a good business model turns out to be bad because of a number of factors, the most significant of which are your assumptions. Perhaps your assumptions about the market, about the distribution system, or even about your own organization are wrong?

For your next startup, try pitching your business idea to trusted professionals who can then give you feedback on whether or not your idea really is sound in the first place. Remember that even the most brilliant of minds can become myopic every now and then, and that what they sincerely believe to be true about the environment turn out to be wrong after all.

So before you start your next startup, meditate deeply about your last experience. Hopefully, you could leverage a previous failure and turn it into a smashing success!

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