Why you need to plan for failure as much as you do success


Many champion a company’s ability to overcome failure. But how often do you recognize the need to build failure into your business plan?

There’s rarely a straight path from Point A to Point B, as any business owner will tell you. Creating a strong, marketable app might take three iterations and a major pivot between the second and third. Becoming the industry leader in customer service likely came on the back of a near-miss PR disaster, when a renewed focus boosted the team’s work.

What’s often missing in this discussion, of course, is the space needed to make those kinds of mistakes. For small-business owners, especially those getting started or struggling to get by, having enough in savings can be the difference between having to close or having another six months, year, or more to keep pursuing their goals.

According to a 2018 study, nearly 40 percent of Americans don’t have enough savings to cover a $400 emergency expense without selling an item or borrowing money. Even before a pandemic, a looming recession, and rental housing crisis highlighted the problem. In a tight financial spot, how can entrepreneurs avoid the worst while positioning themselves for the best?

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