It’s normal for startups to find themselves dealing with enormous frustration. But what can separate the good from the great is how quickly and effectively one responds to the frustration, especially failure. As a founder of a company, you learn from your own experiences. For the most part, you might find yourself failing dozens of times before you can finally make it as an entrepreneur. Starting a Kenya business can be a daunting task because of the many challenges that one faces, including lack of capital and harsh business climate.
The bad news
The first thing you need to do is to realize that entrepreneurs fail constantly. Whether you’re dirt poor, a millionaire or even a billionaire, you will find yourself losing most of the time. If you want to go into business for yourself, get ready to deal with failure and pressure about 90% of the time. However, you need not worry because you are not alone. The statistics make for grim reading because by the fifth year, over fifty percent of all new companies close their doors.
The good news
They say that every cloud has a silver lining and the fact that a Kenya business is more than likely to end up in failure is not all bad news. For starters, it means that there is very low competition because the majority of startups will fold up within five years. In addition, you are likely to be successful if you don’t give up. Failure in business is normal but it is only those who have the guts to persevere that are likely to make it in the cut-throat world of entrepreneurship. Fear of failure should not hold you back, and you can do the following things when things go bad.
a. Adjust your prices
The number one reason why a Kenya business, like any other, is likely to fail is due to emotional pricing. As an entrepreneur, you are more than likely to overprice your product and you may be very stubborn and fail to adapt to your market. In most cases, it’s not your economic climate, industry or even your management that is making you fail in your business. Rather, it is the failure to use common sense that makes most businesses fail and close up shop.
b. Evaluate your assets
The next step for a Kenya business staring at failure is to evaluate its assets. It doesn’t matter how bad the situation is, every business has some assets whether it’s cars, equipment, employees, clients or maybe even intellectual property. Even if your business is not making any money, you still have some customers or thriving relationships with several companies. All these are valuable assets and you can sell some of them to keep the business afloat. If all else fails, quantifying your assets will give you an advantage when you are negotiating with anyone who wants to buy your business.
C. Sell assets
When it comes to selling your assets, you can sell them individually or jointly as a company. A certain percentage of your assets can be retained if you feel that your startup still has some potential. And if you don’t find a buyer or someone who will take over, you can contact your business partners or even your competition. You can also talk to your employees and find out whether they know someone who is willing to buy the company. You can also look for a buyer using ads, forums, blogs and newspapers. Gatherings and conferences in your industry can also provide some leads.
d. Change your behavior
Sometimes all it takes for your fortunes to change is simply a change in your attitude and behavior. They say that pride goes before a fall and in business there’s no place for hubris. Perhaps you have been too proud to listen to advise from people who you thought were your juniors. Even the least of your employees can offer you some great advice and so you should not dismiss them outright. You can gather some smart people to work with you rather than for you. Listen better, act and do what is right irrespective of what others think you should do.
e. Handle failure gracefully
If you have decided to declare your startup a failure, you can handle the situation with grace while considering all the stakeholders. If you handle the situation in a good manner, you can be in a good position to raise funds for your next venture. You can also find employment in another successful startup where you can put your experience to good use. As you contemplate winding down your startup, consider the following things.
a. Communicate with all stakeholders
It is very important for you to let your investors, shareholders and the board members know about your decision of winding down your startup before you move on. You should consult with everyone so that you can follow the right course of action. Even though people will be disappointed, their assistance will be invaluable in helping you to wind up your Kenya business appropriately. Consulting everyone concerned allows transparency and when you put their input into consideration, it shows your loyalty towards them. You also need to keep the media out, and only inform the whole world once you have formulated a clear plan for winding up the start-up.
b. Get support
You don’t have to go through this process alone, and you can look for a trusted ally, partner, mentor or lawyer to assist you and offer some guidance. If you have co-founders in your Kenya business, now would be the time to discuss your situation and decide on the best way of moving on together. During this process, you should remain perspective because most startups end up in failure. You can be graceful and appreciative of your experience and you can walk away full of confidence knowing that your next business is likely to succeed. By demonstrating confidence in yourself, you are likely to find investors who will support your next business idea.
In conclusion, starting a Kenya business is not a bed of roses and you should be prepared to slog it out. The business environment is tough everywhere and you should be prepared for tough times ahead, especially during the first six months of your inception. However, if you can persevere and use old-fashionedwisdom, there’s no reason not to overcome failure.