You may have experienced setbacks in your journey as a business owner. When running a business there will always be wins and losses, successes and failures, ups and downs, and many things in-between. It can be easy to keep your motivation and energy levels high when things are going well for the business. But if something goes wrong, this can be when your resilience, strength and optimism is impera-tive to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Business setbacks are more likely when you are starting a new business venture or going through a period of change or growth. It is what you do during these business setbacks that will ultimately determine if your new business idea will triumph or fail.
Surviving in business is dependent on how you as the owner approaches the challenges. You will need the strength to be able to ride out the emotional, social and financial storms that are inherent to starting a business.
This could be a result of:
- Hiring the wrong people
- Not identifying new opportunities
- Losing key clients
- Poor cash flow
- A regulatory change has dramatically increased your costs
- Problems with your supply chain
To name but a few….
It is important to realise that setbacks will always come along but it’s how we cope with them that matters. No business is immune to misfortunes that put obstacles in our way to success but the important factor is how quickly and effectively your business bounces back and that will be a reflection on how you manage the personal challenges that come from dealing with those key setbacks.
Part of the process is accepting setbacks will happen and preparing a Plan B for how you will handle them. Such as getting into the habit of putting money aside as a contingency fund. Know how or where you can turn to for support and advice such as sales, marketing etc. Having a strategic support net-work in place could be the difference between a temporary or permanent setback. You’re in the best position to make these arrangements when things are going well.
Many setbacks are unexpected and therefore it can understand-ably cause a fast-emotional response which is often a negative reaction. To manage and cope with any setback, staying calm is crucial, as you will need clarity of thought and a clear mind to be able to find a solution to any setback. Try not to let worries, negative responses have a detrimental effect on how to deal with a setback.
Use every setback as an opportunity to learn!
A setback gives you the chance to review the how and why. This means you can find ways to mitigate it happening again and often learn new ways to deal with situations that may have led to the problem. You will only ever come out of a setback having learnt new skills, have a better understanding of your business and what external and internal factors you could have dealt with differently, in order to mitigate setback and do things smarter next time. Embrace it as a learning moment that will make your business stronger.
As Malcolm Forbes once said, “Failure is success if we learn from it.”
When you’re dealing with a crisis, adversity, obstacles or challenges in your business, it’s vital that you develop a positive mindset for success and problem solving. Without this you could find yourself struggling to find the resilience you need to travel along the unknown journey of running a business.
And finally, I would like to share that……. two heads are better than one. As a business owner, we become so accustomed to doing everything on our own, that we forget that there are so many people out there to help us through any setback, whether that’s a close business network or seeking external help via a business advisor. Asking for help and support is a sign of strength and provides you with new ideas and solutions you may not have otherwise considered.
You will always be aware of someone else who you perceive as having achieved greater success than you or suffered bigger failures and adversity. But comparing yourself and your business with others takes away your focus and energy. Try and focus on your business, your successes, your challenges and setbacks and learn from your own journey not others.
This is undoubtedly easier said than done, but don’t let setbacks get you down. It’s a normal part of every business owner and entrepreneur minded person to experience the wins and losses. Plan and have your strategy in place for when a downturn strikes; that unexpected problem jumps out at you; reflect and learn from the experience, avoid negative thinking and stay positive and focused on your business goals.