Roanoke Revealed

11 small business owner tips for making tough times easier

11 small business owner tips for making tough times easier

Unexpected life circumstances can derail our carefully crafted small business plans. Sometimes it’s best to simply deal with the urgent and not beat yourself up for getting off track on the important.

Clients will be more understanding if you’re forthright. You can give them extra attention and added (unbilled) hours as thanks for their patience later on. That’s what they’ll remember. Some jobs can’t wait. Prioritize time for those or delegate.

When crisis hits, many tend to either act too fast or get paralyzed and do nothing. You can take steps before and during a personal or business crisis to make it easier to keep your business running with minimal interruption – even if you’re all there is.

  1. Find great vendors. These are people you can lean on to help solve problems and rely on to jump in with clients when you’re unavailable. Successful business owners don’t operate alone – even if they’re the only business employee. You want these people in place before an emergency.
  2. When crisis hits, avoid focusing on the problem. Instead, try to see solutions and opportunities. Or, simply be honest with clients and take the break you need to recover. Most will understand and be patient, provided you keep them apprised.
  3. Think long-term even with immediate urgent matters. It’s so easy to do dumb things when the unexpected crashes down on us. Take a deep breath and look into the future as you craft plans to deal with a weighty challenge today.
  4. Find small things to do that make you smile. It’s important to have good moments to get your head back in the right place.
  5. Lean on others for help. Family, friends and business colleagues can provide support in surprising ways when you ask.
  6. Tackle issues one at a time. It’s the only way to effectively address big problems.
  7. Give yourself credit for accomplishments. Recognize even the smallest wins when life turns to chaos. Doing so will help you see better solutions.
  8. Rejoice in the knowledge a problem solved right won’t likely resurface.
  9. Don’t let other people or unexpected circumstances ruin your day. This is so easy to do when life takes a downturn. It doesn’t help.
  10. Feel confident in your ability to summon the resources necessary for a fix.
  11. If urgent matters require immediate attention, clear your schedule to think and deal. It’s hard to find smart solutions when putting out fires consumes your day.

This doesn’t only apply to a business crisis. When you’re a small business owner, it’s easy to let personal issues take precedence. Sometimes that’s a good thing – because you can. Appreciate the flexibility to handle life as it’s thrown at you. You’ll be better able to do this if you’re prepared ahead of time and thoughtful through the challenge. Isn’t it great being a small business owner?

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