You know, when your friend or someone tells you of what they did to succeed in business you learn a lot. Learning from others’ experience beats learning from books any day, ama? You know what, though? Nothing beats learning from others’ failures.
In fact, someone once told me: Failure in business happens for a reason, it is the ultimate lesson.
In that spirit, I decided to share some stories of business failure. The smart thing to do would be for you to read them, analyse them, and learn.
I’ll start with my own little story:
Right after high school (6 years ago), I teamed up with two of my neighbors and childhood friends to start a video games arcade in the neighborhood.
It was quite the learning experience – everything that we did, I was doing for the first time ever. This ranged from getting the business licensed to actually building a small shed to buying a TV and playstation, to put a roof over our business. I think a lot of people don’t know how to actually practically do these things.
So after getting everything ready, we agreed on how to share the profit and started. It was a smashing success and we had all the neighborhood kids hooked! I was actually making my money from my own business. Life couldn’t be better!
Not really. We used to charge about Kshs 60 per hour per gamer. But we had only two gaming machines. Things were good at the start but we somehow decided to move the business from our self-built shed to a real building in the shopping center. Rent shot up from 0 to Kshs 10,000 a month. We believed that the exposure gotten from the shopping center would get us more customers and lead us to growth. We were wrong. We still had only two gaming machines and there was only so much we could make a day. Things started to get strained.
Before long, the business broke apart due to the stress and two of us left with very bad tastes in our mouth. My business #1 down the drain!
Lessons learnt: strategically plan your every move and never go with “hunches” – always try to make sure you make decisions based on realistic data.
Here are 25 other stories of business failure.
What do you think? Did you learn anything?
Hey, have you ever tried your hand at business and failed? Why don’t you share your story in the comments below? Thanks!