When children are all settled on the preschool carpet, building towers out of blocks, creating roadways and getting creative, it only takes a minor bump or a simple misstep to everything crashing to the ground. No one likes to start over. Not when you’ve invested so much of yourself into the desired outcome. Starting over in business is the same; it only takes one bad investment, one bad decision, one simple misstep to see everything come crashing down. 

There’s a lot of inspirational mumbo-jumbo out there about starting over. There’s positivity around second (or third) chances and learning from your mistakes, but the truth is it isn’t always that simple. Sometimes, starting over compromises everything you believed about yourself and you’re not only starting again in business but also having to re-evaluate your values, your belief systems, and how you view your capabilities. 

My words of wisdom for anyone that is facing a scary new beginning, regardless of the circumstances, provide insight, courage, and inspiration. Here are my top 5 tips. 

Go in with a goal 

Starting a business from scratch isn’t enough. You can’t launch a business with the idea that you want a successful business. You need to be more specific in your goal – how much revenue you want to make in your first year (be realistic and draw from actual projections with an accountant). 

Follow a plan (to the T)

Work with a business coach, mentor, accountant, or marketer to create a strategy that will outline the steps to achieve the goal you have listed in the previous point. You’ll need to stick to the plan through thick and thin. 

Create a support structure to carry you through hard times

Have a support structure of family and friends that you can lean on for emotional support. Keep a different support structure of professionals and fellow business owners that you can turn to for practical advice. Never confuse the two structures. 

Beta-test your plan along the way

Is your plan working? Measure your results periodically. If you need to adapt the plan, do so with the help of your professional strategist – your business coach, accountant, mentor or marketer. 

Remain fluid and flexible

Be open to a spanner landing in your work . The businesses that are most likely to survive changing markets, huge changes like pandemics and other unplanned catastrophes are the ones that remain fluid enough to pivot when necessary. 

In business, starting over is often simply part and parcel in this territory. Choosing to be self-employed or by taking the road to entrepreneurship, you sign up for a gamble because nothing is ever guaranteed in business. If a business fails, take the time to examine the failure without criticism or blame or even regret. Analyse what went wrong and only come back to try again once you have pinpointed where the problems were that led to its demise.