What do you do if the company fails?


Our mistakes. We don’t like to talk about that. Admitting that your product or service is not as successful as you had hoped feels like failure. If failure. Unfortunately, mistakes cannot always be prevented. They just happen to you. How you subsequently deal with it, that determines the success of your company.

Be inspired by other people’s failures

Bankruptcy does not have to mean the end of your career as an entrepreneur. There are numerous examples of entrepreneurs who first failed but eventually became very successful. Similarly Sir James Dyson and Nick Woodman. They show that you can learn from bankruptcy and that with a good dose of perseverance you can come to a new, successful company.

Never give up

The Dyson vacuum cleaner was certainly not a success overnight. Sir James Dyson worked for 15 years on no fewer than 5,126 prototypes, all of which flopped. He invested all his savings in the prototypes, but British consumers were still not interested in his bagless vacuum cleaners. The Japanese market, on the other hand, was. This change of target group turned out to be a golden hold. With the royalties from the Japanese sale, Dyson was able to finance a research facility and factory in England. His unique vacuum cleaners thus became a worldwide success.

How bankruptcy can be the best thing that happened to you

Bankruptcy is every entrepreneur’s nightmare. For Nick Woodman, creator, and owner of GoPro, however, this led to the discovery of his life. When his social gaming platform “Funbug” went bankrupt in 2001, Nick was completely devastated. To get new energy again, he decided to go on a surf trip to Indonesia, Bali, and Australia. During his trip, Nick would visit some of the most beautiful surf spots in the world. And he wanted to record that forever. So he started playing with an idea he had for a waterproof wrist camera, with which he could take pictures of his friends while surfing. Even before he got home, he knew he had a new concept for a promising company.

Learn by making mistakes

Where in America they just pick up after bankruptcy and quietly start a new company, many Dutch entrepreneurs cramp in the event of a failure. Needless if we can believe the Americans. They believe that English failing does not stand for “failure”, but for the first attempt in learning. We fully agree with that description. You only really learn by doing. By making mistakes, learning from them and ensuring that they do not happen again.

The art of copying

A smart way to prevent mistakes is to learn from the mistakes of your competitor. The saying is not for nothing: “One’s death is another’s bread.”
For example, bankruptcy is an educational example. At least if you are not blinded by the last period of the company. Chances are it went wrong years ago. So look at what happened three years before the bankruptcy and put the learnings on paper, using the steps below.

Make a list of all the issues that the company had beforehand:

1. Were there many dismissals?
2. Did the market fall back?
3. What other problems were there in the market?

Discuss the findings with your colleagues:

1. What can we respond to?
2. What can or cannot we use?

Map the future:

1. What are the possible scenarios in our industry?
2. What are future challenges?
3. Are the wishes of our customers the same in three years?

Also, learn from the mistakes of your competitors?

Are you curious about which lessons you can learn from the mistakes of your competitors? We will gladly take a closer look at them for you. For more information, contact us via info@marcillaud.com