FIVE Magazine YB - VOL2 - Page 14

with a vigorous marketing campaign designed to try to make the existing breakfast products appealing to Quebec and ultimately failing, an outside consultant suggested simply asking Quebecers what they wanted. Focus groups revealed the problem lay with the way the eggs were cooked and the thickness of the toast, and McDonald’s was successful in solving that quickly and bringing sales in Quebec up to match the rest of the country. The point to take home is that your own beliefs about a product can make you assume that everyone shares the same sentiments. Before you go to the market, make sure there are customers out there who want what you have to offer. It doesn’t matter if you’re running a multi-million dollar company or a small start-up with just a few employees. Bringing brand name business leaders on board to talk about failure helps Godse bring credibility to the book and make it more attractive than just picking up a book by some guy from London, Ontario with an MBA from Ivey and a collection of stories. It also shows that failure can be a reality for even the most successful companies and it’s all about how prepared you are to deal with it and how well you can bounce back from it. Whether you’re at the start-up stage or already running a business and looking to make changes such as expansion or introducing a new product, “Fail Fast, Succeed Faster” can help guide you through the process and evaluate your chances of success by employing a simple strategy and illustrating scenarios where other people failed to consider all the variables and the real consequences of that. “People have lost their savings, people have gone bankrupt - a 20 year family business in the steel industry down in flames in four months because they hired the wrong guy - here is a guy who is CEO of a $1.3 million steel company who wants to save money on a guy who cooked the books,” says Godse. So there’s a sense of urgency to it. Thousands of businesses enter and exit the Canadian market every year. A 2012 report by CIBC using data from Statistics Canada revealed a sharp rise in the number of Canadians starting their own businesses, and this propor14 yourBusiness tion is expected to rise even further. The reality is that many of these businesses will ultimately fail, and by some economists’ predictions, will be out of business within the first five years. Godse doesn’t claim that his book can turn a product or service into a winning product or service. What it can do is prevent total failure or cushion the blow by ultimately asking the question, “Should I be continuing this?” If you don’t ask first, there’s a lot to lose