Owning and operating your own business is exciting but it’s also challenging. It’s inevitable that even with the best possible mentoring and preparation, unforeseen challenges will show up. What matters is how you handle the unexpected challenge, not what the challenge is specifically. You may have a long-time employee suddenly quit, or have a very aggressive competitor enter the market; the trick is to learn to manage stress and keep your business on track even when you are taken off guard. The good news is that entrepreneurs tend to thrive in situations where they need to fly by the seat of their pants; just make sure that you keep your long-term business goals in mind as you decide how to handle the issue.
How to Overcome Unexpected Business Challenges
No matter what the unforeseen challenge is, the trick is to respond in a way that allows you to maintain a steady and consistent effort to meet your business goals. Essentially, as the head of a business, it’s your job to keep your eyes on the prize. By following these steps, you will be able to overcome just about any unforeseen challenge your small business could face.
1. Take your emotions out of the equation
While it is perfectly understandable to feel big emotions when an unexpected issue threatens to undermine all the hard work you have put into your business, the best possible way to handle the situation is to use rational thinking by setting aside your emotions (or at the very least to get a handle on your emotional reaction).
2. Assess the damage
Sit quietly for a few minutes and figure out exactly how the challenge will impact your business. Will your clients be affected? Will a major project be delayed? Will you need to find additional funding? The idea here is that by understanding how your new reality will affect your business, you can more easily decide on your first course of action.
3. Focus on your long-term goals
In a crisis, it’s okay to temporarily set your short-term goals aside in order to make sure that every decision you make will help you reach your long-term goals. By looking through a long-term lens, it is easier to see whether the choices you make will help keep you on track to meet those goals. It can also help you prioritize your needs for handling the situation you’re faced with.
4. Create an action plan
Create an action plan with as many (or as few) steps as you need to handle the crisis effectively. What specific actions need to be taken to deal with the issue and who will handle each action? Don’t be afraid to bring your management team and other trusted advisors into the conversation. In fact, you will probably want their input.
5. Communicate the challenge and your plan to respond
Now that you have a clear understanding of the issue, how it will affect your business and your long-term goals, and have an action plan in place; it’s time to communicate to all the people who are affected. Depending on the particular issue, you may need to communicate to a specific team member or team, your entire staff, all clients or just those affected, and possibly even your investors. Don’t be afraid to tell the truth, even if you are worried about disappointing someone. It is better to be honest upfront than to hide the full story and have it come out later. This is actually an opportunity to build trust, respect, and loyalty; especially if you communicate the steps you are taking to handle the issue.
By following these steps, you will have the best possible chance of handling any unexpected challenge in the best possible way so you can continue on the path you set out for your business.
Need HR support for your small business? We’ve got you covered through HR outsourcing! When you partner with Makai HR you can get on with the business you are trying to grow while we take care of your employee needs from payroll to taxes, health insurance/benefits and worker’s compensation. You also gain peace of mind that you are compliant with all of Hawaii’s employer laws (if you’ve ever looked you know that the list is very long and changes happen). When choosing a PEO to partner with, there are many things to consider including cost, services, and technology solutions.
With the cost of doing business in Hawaii at record highs, we know how important it is to keep labor costs in line with revenue. Our plans are priced competitively and include value-added services like time-in/time-out systems. Our three tiers of PEO service plans are tailored to the size of your business and specific needs. We offer a 100% paperless solution which means that your employees can manage their needs through a computer, tablet, or phone. We can truly improve your employees’ work benefits while freeing you up to run your business.
What are you waiting for? Companies that partner with a PEO benefit from 7-9% faster growth, 10-14% lower employee turnover; and they are 50% less likely to go out of business. Contact us today to get started!