When unexpected challenges occur, sometimes it can paralyze us and we are unsure of how to face these situations. It can feel like we’re drowning as we navigate our business through the rain. Here’s how to embrace these challenges so that we continue to grow our business.

Have you ever faced challenges in your business that really made you contemplate if you should continue being a business owner? Sometimes challenges can be so unexpected and big that we can’t see the other side of it and in a way it can “rain” on our parade.

Here’s an example of a challenge a business owner has faced.

A business owner starts their digital marketing business out of their passion for creativity. They are two-years in and have seen mild success by building their clientele and expanding their services. Things are going well, but they’re still not quite where they want to be. 

Suddenly, they lose three big clients that make up around 65% of their revenue because of a national pandemic. This has a huge, unexpected impact on their business. As a result, they had to cut back on some of their expenses and let go of some of their employees. The business owner is now working an additional 5 hours a day to make up for the employees they let go. They are missing out on family opportunities. They are tired and exhausted. 

What would you do in this situation?

Sometimes being a business owner is like taking a walk in the park. The scenery is beautiful; the weather is clear and everything is going well. But what happens when it suddenly rains like the example above? We typically have two options.

  • We can wait for the rain to go away – Close the business until the outside forces subside and we can regain those clients and grow the business back to where it was.
  • Or, we can go through the rain  – Continue working on our business and continue building it despite the outside forces.

The easy thing to do, and probably what many would lean towards, is the first option. The thinking behind this is, “what’s the point in continuing when there are outside forces that hinder success. If we just wait for the outside forces to go away, our business will jump back to where it was.”

The problem with this thinking is that if we put our business on pause there’s a chance that we won’t continue it. We don’t know when the rain will stop, so who’s saying that these outside forces that hurt our business will go away in the next few months, years or at all? It’s also a cop out to do the hard work necessary to pivot and preserve in your business.

Oftentimes it’s better to go through the rain. One reason is that it keeps us on track to achieve the goals at the time we set. This will prevent any delays in achieving our goals. We may get a little wet but if the goal is worth that minor inconvenience then it won’t matter at the end.

Here’s a list of 6 benefits to facing challenges head-on

  1. You are open to new possibilities in your business
  2. Personal and business growth
  3. You learn how to ask for help
  4. You discover new strategies
  5. You realize what matters
  6. You think more positively

With these things in mind, the advice I’d give to the business owner above:

  1. Look for ways to systemize – have a defined process for every responsibility that your employees have. This will make doing these things easier for you to do as you scramble less trying to figure out how to do it. It also makes sure you do it right every time, which will prevent you from having to start over if you mess up. When you hire people again, you will use these processes to make the training period more streamlined and quicker
  2. Automate what you can – some tasks can be done using technology. To make up for losing employees, try to automate as much of their work as you can to free up some of your time.
  3. Cut back your hours of operation – If your business is open 7 days a week, you can cut it back to 6 or 4 days a week. If you’re open from 8 am to 10 pm, open from 8 am to 5 pm. This will cut back operational expenses and give you a chance to relax or catch up.
  4. Reach out to someone for help. There are many business owners who have had similar experiences. Talk to them and listen to their stories to learn new ways to pivot. You can also reach out to a business coach for guidance on what steps to take

When it rains in our business and we deal with unexpected challenges, it may feel like it’s just one thing after another and we can’t catch a break. It can be discouraging and frustrating.

What we need to do in those situations is to shift our mindset. Instead of being disappointed by the rain, we must focus on how it will help us grow like with the list above.

When plants get rained on, sometimes they can wither or break. But more often they bloom.

The same will happen to us if we embrace those situations, walk through the rain and continue towards our goals.

It can be hard to see it that way when we’re in, that’s why we need to make sure we have someone keeping us accountable for our growth, like a business coach. Talk to us today to learn how you can apply these suggestions to your business specifically. The first session is on us!