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What are the ups and downs in business?

Ahmed Salifou -

All business books have already told you that you would face a lot of challenges in your business journey. They've already warned you of it. And they made you understand that with a bit of hard work and perseverance you can break through all those vicious situations. You knew you were ready for the journey. You were made for it. You were not scared. You agreed with the challenge and started the quest. You are not the first person to accept the challenge. Every entrepreneur did.

But, have we all bitten the challenge? Do we all arrive at the end of the journey?

Of course, we all don't make it that far. Michael E. Gerber said in The EMyth that only two percent of American startups make it after six years out of over a million new businesses that start every year. That's a considerable fact.

Why should one go into business just to fail?

First, let's try to understand what a failure is. Failure is an incapacity for a business to continue business due to limitations to run profitably.

Any business that isn't profitable is a burden to its owner(s). Such situations are usually noticed through frequent ups and downs. And generally for a startup the ups and downs can be very dangerous. Most people would understand those ups and downs as just financial, or resources issues. While it's true, there are much more factors which participate in that.

The subject matter of this article is to understand what an up is and what a down can be. I would like to emphasize their duration, more than their form.

What is an up?

The up moments are usually expressed by the business's success stories. Even its inception can be considered as an up moment. It might also be a moment when the business recovers from a crisis.

The issue with the ups is that it's at those moments we usually make deadly mistakes which cause downs of the business. Those mistakes can be decisional, wrong investments, wrong deals or partnerships, et cetera.

What is down moment?

Although down moments usually look like failures, they are not always just that. A down moment can be a moment when the business does not register any increment in turnover. But, mostly it's the moment most business activities are slow down or do not move as expected. There can be a crisis in the human resources, disputes, or lack of funds to keep the business running at some pace.

As I mentioned in my introduction, those are not moments a business can avoid. The take away in this situation is to be conscious of the time each one of them can last every time it occurs.

There is a huge misconception of down and up times due to the fact that most business owners don't pay attention to the time each can last. The proof is that many people give up at that moment when the pains become increasing and atrocious. We have been through many crises for years and came back out of it. Look at IBM in the 70s. Although IBM had enough resources, they had to sell some of the facilities and belongings to focus.

There is no specific time for which a crisis can last. Unfortunately, it's easy to say "no, I am done" in a matter of minutes. It's important you pay attention to your decisions in those moments. If running an extraordinary business is a never-ending inquiry, then I don't think they should be a moment we can call "we made it" or "we are done with it".

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