No one has the perfect small business strategy for starting a small business without encountering a certain number of challenges and outright failures. Even new entrepreneurs who have years of experience as an employee and the help of a mentor must face and overcome failures and challenges. What can you do to handle and rise above business failures?

Have a Plan

First and foremost – have a plan. Decide before you leap into business for yourself, what you’re creating, what service or products you’re going to offer and for the sake of what? What difference do you want your offering to make in the world, big or small? Write out your goals with weekly, monthly and yearly action plans. Review them consistently and adjust as necessary.

Realize that Failure Is Always an Option

Too many entrepreneurs try to establish a small business strategy that does not include failure as an option. The problem that these business owners encounter is any and all unforeseen and unpredictable external actions that may affect their strategies.

Weather, economic downturn, serious illness: all these are examples of issues that could affect a small business strategy and cause it to fail. If you recognize that failure is an option, you can be more prepared to overcome them when they happen.

Be Persistent

Thomas Edison “failed” to invent a suitable and practical light bulb thousands of times. When asked if he felt like a failure and should give up, Edison said, “Young man, why would I feel like a failure? And why would I ever give up? I now know definitively over 9,000 ways that an electric light bulb will not work. Success is almost in my grasp.”

Would you consider Edison a success? Absolutely! His persistent efforts paid off and created a timeless, universal product used in all households and businesses. Don’t think that failure is a reason to give up. Be persistent.

Review and Learn

Like Thomas Edison, you can learn what “not” to do in the future by reviewing a small business strategy that did not work. It is always helpful to keep a log of your new business strategies so you know what actions you took along every step of the way. Managing challenges means reviewing steps and making changes as appropriate to meet the goal you have set.

Ask for Help

A small business owner should never be too proud to ask for help when managing challenges. Use a mentor. Hire a consultant. Those with experience and wisdom and are willing to share are some of the best resources that a small business owner can use.

Who’s on Your Team?

It’s OK to ask for support. You may be an expert in all facets of running your business but most likely, you’re an expert in just a few areas of your business. For those areas that are not your strength’s, find great people who are and utilize their services! For example, I can do my bookkeeping but it’s not my passion, nor my forte, so I hand that off to Ann Valliant with Business Savvy Bookkeeping and her team.

Here are a few other fine folks on my core support team to help me effectively manage my business that I highly recommend:

Review Your Successes

Sometimes an entrepreneur can become discouraged due to failing a small business challenge. It never hurts to sit down and review things that have gone right in the past. What small business challenges did you overcome previously? Did you win an award for best business practice? Did you outgrow your first office and are now occupying double the space? Did you form a successful joint venture with another business owner for a specific event?

Look back at what you have accomplished, and you will be encouraged to continue striving to overcome failures.

Remember, failure is always an option. Be encouraged. Be persistent. Ask for help. And keep in mind that you have succeeded in the past and will do so again. With these tips, you can rise to the occasion and continue to grow your small business.

Great Resources

If you’d like a ton of other free resources and ideas to help you grow your business, check out to help you build the business of your dreams.

You can also check out all the resources available on my website as well at:

To Your Success!


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