Written by Karen Kalantzis, Operations & Community Manager at Launch Workplaces
Today I witnessed the death of a business…
As the Operations Manager here at Launch Workplaces, one of my duties today was to clear out the office of a member whose business failed. Let’s call him Bill. Bill wasn’t paying rent and Bill wasn’t coming back. At first I was selfishly happy for the reprieve to get out of my own office and away from the computer. But I as worked in Bill’s office to clear it out for the next new tenant, sadness overcame me. I felt the failure of Bill’s hope and dreams. There went Bill’s business cards, his customer files, receipts and assorted papers into the trash. I wondered how he told his family, customers and partners of his company’s closure. I remembered how tenuous owning your own small business can be.
At Launch we love to celebrate our members’ success. But I think we also have to take notice of failures, too, because they provide lessons for all of us. According to Inc., the top five reasons companies fail are failure to market online; to listen to customers; to leverage future growth; to adapt and grow when the market changes; and to track and measure marketing efforts. I don’t know why Bill’s company failed – maybe he ran out of cash; maybe one project did him in; or maybe he lost his passion.
Here’s what I do know—there was probably someone in the Launch community that might have been able to help Bill when there were warning signs of failure. Because at Launch we have members who are experts in finance, marketing, and sales among many other industries and who I’m sure would have been willing to have a cup of coffee with Bill to hear his troubles and provide sound advice. Launch also provides training events to teach necessary business skills. The value of working in a shared office environment is the opportunity to make connections, collaborate and attend events for education and networking.
Approximately 50 percent of new businesses fail within the first five years. As a business owner, you hope that statistic never applies to you. The way I see it, you can certainly increase your chances for success by engaging with the people and activities around you. Thankfully, Launch Workplaces provides members with the right kind of environment to provide support for your success.