I don’t like the term failure, shutting down a business is not failure, so long as you learn, it is a natural part of a business life cycle.
The lessons that can be learned from people who have shut down businesses; such as what they would do differently and tips for people still in or getting into the game, are very valuable.
My business was not successful and I am in the process of shutting it down but the lessons I learned while running it were invaluable. Although not in the chocolate business (skimboard importing and distribution) some of the lessons are translatable to any business.
Here is a list of parameters that I have set for my new idea based on the un-successes of the past:
1. The business must involve full time employment for myself.
2. The business must allow me freedom to create.
3. The business must be able to expand and grow.
These are quite general and how you achieve them is quite complex, but in essence they are very simple. Try keeping things like this in mind as you construct your business idea and you will see that they do have quite an impact on what business models and ideas you select. My last business did not have these properties and caused me to be very bitter about it in the end, destroying for me something I used to really love – the sport of skimboarding.
I love business and what it offers, idealistically, the three things I listed above, so consider what you really want from business.
If anyone has other things to add to the list go right ahead, it is probably going to be different for everyone depending on what they want from business. Any lessons from those in the chocolate industry or who have recently shut down their business (I know Tracy mentioned closing her doors) would be extremely valuable to those of us looking forward to business prospects in the area.