How To Make a Strong Comeback From a Small Business Setback


Everyone in business understands what it means to “miss the mark”. In fact, business is fraught with failure and disappointment. Even so, it doesn’t lessen the emotional, mental, physical, and/or financial impact of defeat. How does one make a solid and quick rebound following a mortifying upset?

Not all setbacks are created equal. Business hardships range from losing a substantial, profitable contract to missing a hard-fought targeted goal to financial devastation resulting in business closure. Regardless of the reason, failing to achieve your intended objective can result in an emotional or mental crack that can be hard to come back from.

Experts continually tell us that failing with regularity is the quickest path to success. Although that’s a bitter pill to swallow, some misfortunes land a bigger punch to the gut than others.

Everyone deals with failure in their unique way. From ignoring it as if it didn’t happen to drowning your misery in a tub of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, each entrepreneur discovers their personal comeback journey.

Despite the individual road one must travel to return stronger and better than before, here are a few points to consider on your pilgrimage:

1. Prepare for it in advance. No entrepreneur sets out with the goal of failing. Still, we know failure is a natural part of business. Be that as it may, the consequences of false steps can be lessened by analyzing risks before leaping, developing financial reserves that allow you to take calculated risks, and keeping your mental, emotional, and physical tank full.

2. Don’t take it personally. Ugh! This is easier said than done. In reality, a setback doesn’t mean that you, personally, are a failure. It does mean the initiative failed. Be careful not to internalize the situation. View the circumstances with objectivity.

3. Learn from it. The worst thing that can happen following a setback is to learn nothing from it only to repeat the same mistakes. Conducting a critical analysis gives you insight into the changes that will make you stronger than before.

4. Keep moving. There’s a lot we can learn from basketball about how to “get our groove back”. When the forward is struggling and missing his/her mark, seldom does the coach bench them. The coach understands the importance of working through the challenges to get back on top of their game. It’s the same with entrepreneurs.

5. Act your way into new beliefs. Not “fake it ’til you make it” — that approach seldom feels right to most entrepreneurs — but rather catch yourself doing the right things for your comeback. Many entrepreneurs find it helpful to keep a “comeback journal” in which they document the actions taken during the day that support a swift and strong return.

6. Ask for help. A big downfall for many entrepreneurs is failure to ask for help. Whether its pride, ego, or a fear of looking ignorant, getting sage advice from trusted advisors can avert many disasters.

None of us want to fail or experience the agony of defeat. Embracing failure as a natural part of business evolution keeps us one step ahead, lessens the aftermath, and provides a giant step forward to a strong comeback.

What has been most effective in helping you make a strong comeback after a defeat?

Talk to us:

Subscribe To Blog


Brooke Billingsley

Vice President
Perception Strategies

Synnovatia is a strategic coaching firm that is detailed and knowledgeable about business. i have a small business that grew from $150K to $750K because of the goal setting and resources that Synnovatia provided. It saves me years of learning on my own.

Search The Blog