If you have started a business, there is no doubt that you have experienced multiple setbacks. Setbacks can make you want to give up on everything you have spent so much time building. Starting a business requires you to learn how to overcome these inevitable setbacks by using a structured strategy to handle the issue and allow you to continue building your business. As a business owner or leader you cannot allow these setbacks define or run your business.
I started a business in 2011 and experienced a lot more setbacks in the first year than I have recently. These initial setbacks required me to make some difficult decisions regarding my business processes and structures. I needed to implement practises and solutions before these setbacks became a recurrent issue.
Looking back on your setbacks often confirms that they are the best feedback you business ever received. Setbacks provide you with important information regarding your operation and the business practices that need revision. When managing setbacks, you must first address the issue then find a solution to the problem. The key to handling setbacks is to pick yourself up, learn from your mistakes and don’t make the same mistake again.
Acknowledging a setback allows you to identify and accept you have a problem. Setbacks are temporary delays to your progress telling you to address an issue before you move on.
Be aware of your response; the wrong response and lack of control can make the issue exponentially worse as your employees, consultants or clients can realise that you may not be in control of the situation. Remain calm; give yourself time reflect on the issue before you allow your emotions to respond.
By finding the root cause of the setback you are able to assess the situation and create an action plan to avoid it from reoccurring. These events have a tendency to quickly spiral unless you control the situation and immediately take action. Some strategies to handle setbacks include:
- Communicate with your team – Communicating the issues with your team allows you to discuss the problem and the proposed solution. Take the time to reassure your team until you return to business as usual.
- Stay confident – People can tell if you have lost confidence in a situation. Setbacks are often the quickest way for entrepreneurs to start doubting themselves and lose confidence. Remain calm and collected to reassure the people around you.
- Create a Plan – Creating a plan to address the issues is the best way to respond to the setback giving you immediate and long term actions to mitigate the situation. Documented strategies allow you to measure the effectiveness of your solution. Include reviews of the setback in your mitigation strategy to ensure the solution has worked and the setback does not reoccur.
- Ask for help – Asking for help from a mentor, coach or adviser gives you the opportunity to process the situation and brainstorm a solution. Reaching out to an advisor can help you get perspective and help you find an effective solution to your problem.
After you have found a solution to your setback, take action and implement your plan using your documented strategies.
Turn it into a positive
Setbacks give you the opportunity to assess your current situation and identify deficiencies. You can’t always control the external forces and events that impact on your business but it is important to control your actions, pick yourself up and find a way to move forward.
After implementing your action plans, review the solution against the expected outcomes to ensure the setback has been resolved. By having a structured solution review you can help ensure the setback will not become a reoccurring event.