Life’s Been Throwing Lemons At You. So, What Should You Do?
Reflecting upon the days in 2019, some may conclude that it wasn’t the best year. In the world of business, thriving entrepreneurs may point to the days when challenges got in their way towards success. Whether the setback was major or minor, there is usually an opportunity to learn from those mistakes, grow from those experiences and turn days of defeat into days of victory. Here are some challenges business owners face and how to squeeze those lemons into lemonade.
1. Your ‘big idea’ fell flat
Confronting situations in which reality falls short of expectations can be painful to bear. If you were to launch a product, an application or service that did not kick-off in 2019, you’ve experienced a common challenge among business owners. As painful as it may seem and as much as it scrapes your ego to admit that your big idea did not connect with the customers, it is the first step towards nailing the next launch. In order to make a bigger impact this time round, do some research to ensure that your big idea truly benefits your customers in regard. Doing so will enable you to decide on whether you should go ahead with it or otherwise.
Begin by understanding your customer and their needs. This may mean looking out of the box beyond the core of your business alone. Your product or service may have also been a failure due to the method of execution and not the concept. Consider inspecting your model, marketing strategies and/or timing for launch. Although many insights can be derived from data, the best information comes from your customers. So, take a moment to go out to the field and ask them questions. Examining which parts of your launch were good and otherwise will be a good way for you to identify the changes needed to be made and your opportunities moving forward.
2. You exceeded your budget
We all have heard that in order to make money, one should spend money. Although this is often true, sometimes things don’t go exactly the way you planned it to and you end up simply spending – far beyond your expectations and budget. Some expenses are unavoidable, like emergency repairs or maintenance work, while others can be easier to anticipate, such as new employee costs. Sometimes, it can merely be miscalculations in your projections that ends up taking a toll on your costs.
No matter what the situation was that pushed your expenses over the edge and that is okay; be mindful to keep a watchful eye on your expenses this year. This may mean handing over the reins of your finances to a trustworthy partner whose primary goal will be to keep an eye and manage your finances along with you. If you already have one of those, you may want to consider hiring an accountant with a sense of your industry to dive into your costs, Accountants have critical minds and a wider knowledge on complex factors affecting your budgeting and costs and also a toolkit of resources and advice to help you with your finances.
3. You can’t find the right talent.
No matter how much time you invest in on a hire and how perfect you think they’ll be for a certain role, the reality is that you’ll never know whether someone is fit for the role until you get them in the field or by talking to customers. And sad to say, that is indeed a tiresome and expensive process. It is a bitter pill to swallow when you have invested both time and money into a new hire only to find that they do not fit your wants and needs.
But when there is a will, there is a way. Try reaching out to your network – people know people. Ensure that your employees, business partners, family and friends know that you are hiring and ask them for referrals. Now, the most important thing to remember is there is no such thing as a perfect candidate. Everyone has a flaw. Keeping this in mind will make hiring easier for you. Be flexible, determine what parts of your candidate are more important than others and be open-minded to unique skills and attributes that may not have come to mind before.
Know when to cut your losses as well. If you feel that the person you hired isn’t right for the job, the person in particular is more than likely to feel the same way. Have an open and honest conversation with them sooner than later and be clear about ways they can improve and set a timeline for when you expect improvement. If you don’t see any changes to their performance after this, then it is better to not waste either of your time.
Now that you’ve welcomed the New Year, take time to understand the reasons you encountered these challenges in the past and the sooner you do, the closer you are towards new opportunities and growth.