Setbacks are a regular part of every business, and if you’re a business owner and haven’t experienced it yet, you should better get prepared for this undesired part of the entrepreneurial journey. As no business is immune to misfortunes and obstacles, it’s your reactions that matter and can make a difference when it comes to whether and how quick your business will recover.
While no one likes to think of downturns and rough times when things are going well, it’s actually the best time there is to prepare a strategy and be ready when setbacks occur. And when they do, here is how to recover.
Accept the crisis
One of the first reactions to major business setbacks is a fight-or-flight stress response. An unexpected problem has put all of your business efforts at risk, and even if you have already thought about it and addressed such situations in your business plan, reacting emotionally is a natural human answer. You may be angry, frightened or disappointed and even tempted to act immediately.
All these emotions can easily cloud your thinking, so you’re less likely to make wise choices or come up with a creative solution. While emotionally charged, avoid making any decisions or taking any actions and wait until you’re calm enough to accept that sometimes things just go wrong, and accept it.
Having your negative thoughts spiraling out of control and imagining every possible negative outcome won’t help you either, and the consequences of catastrophic thinking on your business can be devastating.
If you notice falling into a circle of negative thoughts, such as “we’ll never make it”, “the business was destined to fail” or “the doomsday has come”, look for ways to break it, the sooner the better. Try to make your thoughts a bit more rational by listing other possibilities and outcomes too. This will make you feel grounded and capable to deal with the situation by focusing on things that are in your control.
Determine a problem and find a resolution
When you’ve put your emotions and your negative thought aside, it’s time to objectively evaluate what caused the setback, and what could be its consequences.
It might be a financial loss caused by your key client walking away, so determine the reason behind their churn. Was it a poor customer service they were receiving, or they got a more competitive offer from another company? Look into the reasons thoroughly and identify what went wrong and caused a setback, so that you can use this information to prevent such a crisis from reoccurring.
Also, look for solutions for the setback you’re facing. If it’s a financial loss, you might be able to move your funds around and cover immediate costs, or you might get one of the affordable no security business loans to fill the financial gap.
Look for support
If you’ve been networking, you probably have a professional network you can turn to in times of trouble. Whatever type of support members of these groups can offer will be valuable.
The greatest thing about such groups is that they are beneficial to each one of their members. Every member has personal experience with starting up and running a business and sometimes hearing about how others managed to deal with similar setbacks can be crucial for finding your own solution.
If you’re closely connected to your networks, their support doesn’t have to end there. Sometimes their referral can be enough to get you even bigger clients than the one that left, or a great employee to replace your estranged star.
Even if you’re not very fond of networking, or have trouble reaching out to other business owners, take baby steps and begin. You can join LinkedIn or Facebook groups for starters, or attend some local events or conferences where you can make some connections. As time passes by, networking will become easier and feel more comfortable.
Consider each one of your setbacks as an opportunity to learn something new and maybe even grow your business further than you’ve expected. It’s crucial to put it into this perspective so that you will thoroughly inspect the causes and implement them into your crisis strategy.