How to Deal with Setbacks in Your Business
By Rilind Elijaz
How to Deal with Setbacks in Your Business
Setbacks are common in business. In fact, every successful business you see in town has had to deal with a setback at some point. But setbacks don’t necessarily mean failure. Your success in business is tied to how well you react to every setback that comes your way. Your reaction, on the other hand, is dependent on how well prepared you are and the strategies you have put in place to overcome setbacks. Here are some of the setbacks that you are likely to face:
· A competitor beats you to a target market you had invested heavily in, both financially and structurally.
· A top client ditches you for a competitor.
· A new product falls flat in its target market.
· Your top performing employee leaves for greener pastures, or new recruits fail to live up to the expectations you had when hiring so you are forced back to the drawing board.
· A regulatory change undermines your production, marketing, and business operations in their entirety.
· Your supply chains are disrupted by a pandemic like COVID-19, trade tensions like the standoff President Trump has with China, or due to calamities such as floods or earthquakes.
Some of these setbacks are unpredictable, some unimaginable even, so you cannot prepare sufficiently for them. You can, however, always subdue them with resilience and determination. Here are 5 strategies that will help you keep your head up in the aftermath of a major setback:
1. Keep your emotions in check
It is in human nature to get emotional both when excited and when things don’t go as planned. However, emotions make people weak, vulnerable, and in most cases unreasonable. You become reactionary when you get emotional after a major setback, and that makes it hard for you to find the best possible way to respond. Emotions can cloud your judgment and instead of picking up the pieces, you opt to call it quits altogether.
This is the point: You have made huge investments into your business and you have every reason to get mad when things go south, but you simply cannot afford to get mad. You must make deliberate efforts to keep your emotions in check. Learn to always stop and calm your emotions before you utter a word. Find a quiet, tranquil, and safe space to meditate and make peace with the setback before reacting. You can even go on vacation just to factory reset. Seek wisdom and guidance from your mentors, close family and friends, and professional advisors. It is easier to get over the setback once you pick the sense from the huge pile of the nonsense.
2. Make every setback a learning opportunity
After making peace with the setback, now list down the lessons you learned through the setback. Ask for and actually encourage feedback from as many stakeholders as possible. If an employee you trusted sued you for ridiculous reasons, for example, encourage other employees to give you their honest perception of how the organization is run. Tell them to list down the things they find offensive or inappropriate in the workplace, and which areas you or your senior managers need to improve on in order to subvert potential lawsuits. Another example: You can prevent your supply chain managers from committing the same supply slip up in future by encouraging them to reimagine the company’s supply chains after COVID-19 or any other disruptive pandemic/natural calamity.
3. Keep moving, no matter how small your steps are
Maybe you are going through severe financial hardship. Maybe your competitors seem to be beating you to everything you try. Whichever position the setback left you in, always know that the only way you are coming out of there is by making steps no matter how small. There is a cliché that if you are going through hell, you must keep moving because there is no way you can settle in hell. That cliché is very applicable when dealing with setbacks. Identify where you need to go, break down tasks into manageable pieces, fix the little things you can fix, accept help no matter how small, and remember to appreciate each accomplishment along the way.
4. Sought for advice and support
When the going gets tough, a little help goes a long way. If the setback involved international employees, for example, you can liaise with a globalization partner to find a lasting solution. Global employment services such as Singapore PEO will help you hire and manage employees, run payroll, and handle all tax and compliance management issues so that you can focus on reviving your international operations.
5. Change your mindset
When the dust settles, shift your focus to developing success mindset muscles. Undertake personal development training. Retrain your brain to handle crises better and to avoid negative thinking habits. Once you know what is ailing your business, cut ties with it no matter how emotionally attached you are with it.
Being a successful entrepreneur is difficult because of the many expectations you set for yourself, the tough competitions you contend with on a daily basis, and the many risk factors no one ever tells you about before you join the world of business. However, there is always a long-term reward to be earned in future for business people who are resilient enough to scale through their setbacks. You must never give up.