Running a small business is a unique challenge. A savvy entrepreneur should never expect the ship to sail smoothly for long because it often doesn’t. Occasionally, the ship will encounter storms. Successful owners are those who can weather these storms and move on. Of course, it’s much easier to imagine that a small business can get through a crisis than to actually get through one. Don’t be discouraged, however. It is possible to grow a thick hide and effectively navigate a company through most thunderstorms. Here are several tips from the expert management consultant, John Burgess, on how to do so:
Have a Backup Plan
You don’t have to face an unexpected crisis if you can anticipate it in advance. While small business owners cannot always predict exactly what is in store for the company’s future, it can be anticipated that the tough times will come. When they do arrive, the company should have a backup plan ready. Work with a professional consultant to develop an effective backup plan in case the company has to go into crisis mode. When you have your plan B, then you will have directions at hand on how to navigate through the storm.
Be Highly Pragmatic
Small businesses must be optimally pragmatic during times of crises. There will be no time to get emotional or worse, egoistic. When a problem arises, the management team should be focused on finding a solution. There should be no room for petty infighting or ego-driven drama. Train your employees and managers to actually reach this level of focus in advance. If this is done, when the time for action arrives, the team can act as a well-oiled machine and respond fittingly.
Identify the Challenges and Address Them
Your small business is facing a crisis. But what exactly is the crisis? Is it a massive, convoluted problem with no end in sight? Or is it a small issue that might actually be an opportunity in disguise? If a problem arises, it’s wise to stop and assess the challenges facing the company. Gather data so the business executives can actually pinpoint the source of the problem. Then break down the big issue into smaller parts that can be addressed easily. Develop a plan for addressing challenges at their core. This way, the business will be able to successfully thrive through even the worst chaos.
Remain Positive, but Realistically So
It may sound like clichéd advice, but it is important to stay positive as the company goes through a rough patch. Positive advice is compulsory for managers and the CEO, mainly to prevent employees from jumping ship. Though being positive is important, it’s equally important to remain realistically positive. Don’t be blindly optimistic and hope for the best. As mentioned above, pragmatism matters. Therefore, maintain a positive attitude with pragmatic solutions in mind. Don’t believe in the impossible and mislead employees.
During times of business crisis, remain honest, focused, remove distractions, and stay committed to finding a solution. This will help businesses overcome nearly any issue and thrive in the future.