The old saying of “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. " is good advice but not easy to do. As a business hits the bumps and bruises of the business highway, you want quick answers, and not platitudes.
Any business will have its ups and downs, except maybe if you were in the oil industry. But do you wring your hands and cry tears while making everyone around you miserable? Absolutely not, and if you do, then you don't really belong in the business world. What you have to do is grab those lemons and let go of any pent up fears of disaster and ineptitude. Then after this bit of physical exertion, grab your pen and pad of paper, find a quiet “thinking" spot, and go to work.
When you started your business, you had a business plan. Did you go to the right or left and leave the main gist behind? Did you experience costs that you knew nothing about when you made your plan? When the unforseen circumstances came, did you just take them in stride, or did you try and find out why? As soon as a problem surfaces its ugly head, keep your cool but make all the notes you can about it, then when you have the quality time, and you have to make the time, , see if there were any signs or cracks that you could have seen beforehand and headed off the situation. If it's money, talk to your bank, investors, or even take on a silent partner. If it's beyond that, then seek out financial expertise through small business groups, retired executives or others in your field that may have experienced the same trends. If you honestly assess the situation, work up as best you can a black and white report, then speaking with the professionals who have been there and done that, they will be able to at least steer you in the right direction. If your paper is sketchy at best, then your credibility will enter their minds. You are professional enough to have a business, you are professional enough to try and seek solutions, so put your best foot forward and ask. Ask for advice, direction, and resources.
If you remain calm but stalwart on your quest, the answers will come. You may have to scale back a part of your operation until it proves more profit- able, or maybe your direction is a bit off track and you will have to pull in the reins, etc. If you get upset, or impatient, then the battle will go against you.
Whatever happens, stick with it, because if you throw in the towel, then starting up again will be that much more difficult and your confidence will errode quickly. Worse case scenario, your business comes to a complete halt, begin plans immediately to take what you learned from this experience and apply it to your next business venture. You are in it for the long run, and that first broken wheel is not forever. Storm clouds give way to sunshine, even in the business world. ©Arleen M. Kaptur May, 2007
Arleen M. Kaptur has written many books and articles on everyday living and finding peace and joy in all we do.