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You Are Not Alone:
What to do When Your Business is Struggling

There I was feeling as if the world was closing in on me. I had lost a client to unforeseen issues, except they shouldn’t have been unforeseen. Due to a series of seemingly un-related events that I failed to connect I had lost what could have been a great client.

Thankfully I had good council around me, and as we linked together those forewarnings I saw a more successful future. The forewarnings only lost me one client, but had I not looked at them they could have allowed me to lose so much more.

It doesn’t matter how large or small a business is every one of them has struggled at one point or another. It can be caused by a variety and combination of issues, sometimes out of your control. So, what do you do when you are struggling and not sure what next step to take? Much like the issues the solutions are varied as well, but we have created for you a list of solutions and advice that you can use to help you while you go through the next step.
1. Allow yourself to panic, if only for a few minutes.
One of my favorite quotes comes from the army in which it is written, “You, you, and you panic. The rest of you come with me.” There is nothing wrong with a few minutes of panic. That fear and adrenaline are there with purpose. You are at a crossroads and decisions will need to be made, but not in panic mode. So give yourself time to panic for a few minutes and then take a deep breath.

Based on all the thoughts that raced through your mind in those moments write what you can remember down. Then go for a walk, clear your head, and re-group. Think about your council, whom you can call that will help you. If you don’t currently have one, start putting one together. They should be people you can trust, and have traits and wisdom that you need.

2. Always do a post-mortem.
It doesn’t matter if the last project was a raging success or a complete failure you need to put together the best and worse issues of the project. If you are a freelancer you may do this alone, but be honest. Sometimes even the failure had great points, and those are things you can use in the next project. Remember you don’t know what you don’t know. Whether you learn from a mistake or a success you can learn from both to make the next project even better.

If you are going through the loss of a client or another crisis you can apply the same principle. Go back through the history of the crisis. It is better to trace back from the point of impact than it is from how it might have gotten there. Once you’ve traced through you can determine what part you played in the issue and how you can improve. Keep in mind that it is not always something you did directly.

3. Don’t beat yourself up.
This is the toughest thing not to do. Especially when going through the post-mortem trying to see where you can improve. It can be easy to get lost in all the wrong things, and that is why it is important YOU WRITE THE GOOD THINGS you did.

There is a reason you have been successful. There is a reason clients are still with you. Be a fair evaluator, but don’t be a critic. Critical analysis is very different from unwarranted or unneeded criticism whether you are dealing with a tough economic time or a lost customer. It can be easy to beat yourself up. Don’t do it. That is easier said than done, which is why a council is always recommended.

Keeping an accurate view of the situation will help you get past the tendency to come down harsher on yourself than is necessary. Once you have a plan in place to make sure the mistake is not repeated rest in that and move on.
  Create a council you can turn to for help.

4. Don’t obsess over the lost.
So now that you’ve panicked, picked through the issues, and not beaten yourself up the next thing you need to do is move on. There isn’t a businessperson out there who doesn’t have a story about a customer or situation they have lost to. It is part of the fabric of you and your company. And there is nothing wrong with it.

Most of the time failures will teach you more than success will. And once you’ve learned you now have the experience to get another wonderful customer. Now is the time to look forward and see what you can conquer. Come up with new ideas, new ways of taking care of the customers you do have, and come at it with the sense that this struggle is a phase and that it will pass.

5. Reach out to others.
You’ve heard it said, and it is true, that when you want to help yourself you should help others. There is a reason social media is huge, no matter what James Franco may say, and there is a reason that helping others will always help you. Building up people will in turn bring business to you. Teach others what you have learned, help people do what they do best, and by helping others shine you yourself will get a benefit that you can’t get anywhere else.

You can do this in a multiple of ways, by joining a networking group, creating seminars or webinars, and by reaching out to the community to show them you have a product or service that will benefit them. It may cost you time and some money, but the rewards are worth it.

It is never easy to have a business that is struggling, but know that you are not alone.

If you need some guidance you can contact us here . Or you can call us at 817-485-5658