Why Studying Failing Businesses May Be the Best Way to Achieve Success in Yours

It’s often said that if you want to succeed in business, your best approach is to look at those who’ve succeeded before you and simply do what they do.

Yet, one successful business owner suggests that studying failing businesses may actually be more effective.

Studying Failures versus Successes

Business Matters shares that business management master Russell Ruffino has created a successful company by looking more at what companies should not be doing versus what they should.

That company is Clients on Demand and, in 2017, it was named one of Inc. magazine’s top 500 fastest growing companies in America.



The reason this approach works is because it keeps you from making those same mistakes at your own business says Ruffino.

This enables you to avoid not only the costs of those mistakes, but also the frustration they tend to cause as well.

Common Business Mistakes

For instance, Alyssa Gregory, founder of Small Business Bonfire, shares that some of the most common mistakes businesses make include:

  • Not making a plan
  • Failing to set goals
  • Undervaluing what they have to offer
  • Not taking advantage of the latest technology
  • Undermining the value of marketing
  • Lack of clarity regarding their target audience
  • Either under or overspending
  • Trying to do everything themselves
  • Not committing to success

If you’re guilty of any of these, now is a good time to change this and turn them around as making these mistakes can cause your business to sink before it learns how to swim.

Syed Balkhi, the founder of WPBeginner who was also named a top 100 entrepreneur under 30 by the United Nations, adds to this list saying that additional reasons all too many businesses fail is because they don’t invest in professional advice (or follow advice blindly), they’re so in love with their products that they don’t improve them, and not being acutely aware of their competition.



Knowing this type of information, the next step is to put it to use so you don’t make the same mistakes with your company.

Putting this Information to Use

Looking at some of the most common mistakes made by business owners, how many of them are you guilty of too? Make a list, placing the most critical mistakes you feel you’ve made all at the top and those you consider slightly less important lower down.

Next, starting at the top of your list, come up with things you can do to turn these mistakes around. For instance, if you’re guilty of failing to set goals, set aside time on your calendar to come up with all of the things you want your business to do.

Or maybe you’ve not paid attention to what type of competition exists in your field. In this case, you’ll want to schedule an hour or two one day to begin to research this type of information.



Go Beyond the List

It also benefits you to go beyond these lists and actually speak to others in your field or area, asking them which mistakes they’ve made that they regret most. Ask also what they do today to avoid making those same mistakes over again.

While it may seem like they won’t want to share, many business owners are more than willing to talk about how they’ve been able to build and grow their companies. So, all you have to do is ask and they become an open book.

This isn’t to say that studying successful approaches isn’t beneficial, because it is. Just don’t forget to study the failures too because those are the things that can ultimately break your business, which makes avoiding them a priority whenever you can.