As the saying goes, “into every life some rain will fall.” The lesson for entrepreneurs is that every company must be prepared for the time when they will need to overcome a bump in the road. This could be due to losing customers or it could be due to a downturn in the broader economy, but the key is not to dwell on the setback – rather it is how you bounce back. As such, here are some tips on how to keep your company growing after a setback.
Change Your Business Model
Let’s face it, no industry is safe from disruption these days and this means that should always be on the lookout for better ways to attract and retain customers. If not, then you risk being blindsided by a new way of doing things and this might leave you on the outside of your own market.
If you find this happening to you, then ask yourself one question – what is the best way for me to reach my customers? For some, this might be a brick and mortar location, but for others, it might mean that they need to reinvent their business. Your business can’t survive without customers, so if you are struggling to find new customers then it is time to rethink how you are attracting them to your business.
Expand Your Reach
As much as technology has disrupted traditional models in just about every industry, they have also made it easier for companies to expand their reach. Think about it, a home-based business can now reach customers around the world, while a $100 million business can leverage technology to reduce costs – which means that they have more money to spend on growth hacking.
Another thing you can do to expand your reach is to outsource. It’s not just in areas such as marketing, social media, and public relations. In fact, you can outsource just about anything these days – including key parts of your HR functions.
One example of this would be looking into outsourcing leave management solutions that would save your business money and allow you to spend more on customer acquisition. After all, customer acquisition is vital to expanding your reach, so saving money in other areas can be put to good use here.
Be Open with Your Team
One of the worst things you can do when facing a setback is to try and keep it to yourself. Instead, this is the time to be open and honest to your team about what is happening. Doing so, will not only give you different perspectives on how to handle the challenge but it will also let you know that you are not alone.
However, this can be easier said than done. For example, you will probably be in damage-control mode and this often leads to failure as if you are in a foxhole. But you need to recognize that this is a choice and internalizing everything might not be the best way to deal with your problems.
Instead, you will want to take a moment to reflect on the situation and then start communicating with your team and other members of your support network. Only in this way can you “get by with a little help from [your] friends”.
Don’t Get Mad, Get Focused
Facing a setback can make you angry, but what you want to do is channel that anger into something positive. This starts by reminding yourself where your passion for the business lies.
Think about it, what gets you out of bed in the morning? Sure, you might like being the “boss” or how much money you are (or were) making, but there must be more to it. Maybe it is the thrill you get from helping people, or maybe it is the challenge of solving problems.
Either way, there must be something about your business which puts a spring in your step. The key is that when you are facing a setback is to not lose that motivation. Instead, focus it into the energy you will need to help you (and your team) come back stronger than ever before.
Businesses are not immune to economic downturns, competitors, or even the mistakes made by its owners. As such, you are bound to face adversity during your journey as an entrepreneur.
Just remember that when life gives you lemons, you need to make lemonade. This starts by changing your business model, expanding your reach, being open with your team, and finally getting focused.