What to do when you lose faith in your business?
Losing faith in your business is common amongst business owners and entrepreneurs. Often you have put everything on the line to start and run a business. Sacrificing time, money, resources and, at times, relationships. Your business is a big part of your life and it is not surprising that at times you question whether it is worth it or not.
Why does this happen?
Here are a few reasons from my personal experience:
• Negative feedback
You know you have a great new product or service to offer. All the necessary planning, research is done and you are ready to test. You run a test with a few trusted individuals but unfortunately the response is not enthusiastic or even worse you do not get any response at all. Your excitement levels drop, and you begin to lose faith not only in your new product or service but also in your business and its potential as a whole.
• Drop in sales
Historically your business showed good sales and was growing well. Suddenly, like during the pandemic, you see fewer customers which means less sales and as a result a drop in the turnover. This could result in you questioning the validity of your business and whether it will be successful or not.
• The risk seems greater than the reward
We all experience moments in business when it seems like the risks taken are too great and the rewards are nowhere in sight. Have you ever felt this way?
• Poor marketing results
Running marketing promotions mean putting together graphic design elements, implementing a marketing plan and incorporating digital marketing through your website or social media to build brand awareness, find new leads for your business or sell your products/services. When your marketing efforts fail it impacts your sales negatively and as we pointed out earlier a drop in sales could result in you losing faith in the viability of your business.
What can you do to change this?
Here are a few methods that not only renewed my faith in my business but also strengthened the commitment I have to give it the best chance of success:
1. A STRATEGIC PLAN
DEFINE, REFINE AND REVIEW a clear plan for your business. Then REFER to this plan whenever you feel like you are losing faith in your business.
A strategic plan does not have to be very long and can be a one-page document that answers the following:
• Why does your business exist? (what is the problem you want to solve?)
• What is your purpose? (if your business could do 1 thing what would it be?)
• What products or services do you offer and for who?
• What are your values?
• What are your long-term goals? (2 – 5-years)
• What are your short-term goals? (0 – 1 year)
• What is your brand promise?
2. GET A MENTOR OR BUSINESS COACH
To be an entrepreneur or small business owner can be a lonely journey at times. Having a mentor or business coach has great benefits for you as an individual as well as for your business. Here are a few benefits that I found (but there are many more than this):
• Accountability – they keep us focused on achieving our goals by holding us responsible every step of our journey.
• Business development – often business owners spend more time working in their business than working on developing it. They help you to define what your business does, your goals, your target market, finances, and more. Helping you build your business for future growth.
• Life-line – they serve as a trusted but objective source that you can contact in moments when you lose faith in anything related to your business.
I receive one-on-one business coaching from Boraine Consulting, an accounting and consulting firm. For more information on what they do, follow the link: https://www.boraineconsulting.com/single-post/personal-one-on-one-consulting.
There are many other service providers who offer similar services as well, do some research and find a service provider that fits with you as a business owner and entrepreneur.
3. OUTSOURCE SOME RESPONSIBILITIES
As business owners we often wear many hats such as finance, accounting, human resources, marketing, sales, etc. This is often because resources and capital are limited, so we do it ourselves to “save costs”. The reality is that it may cost your business more when you take on certain responsibilities which require time and experience which you may not have.
Take marketing as an example – outsourcing this function has great benefits for your business. A well rounded agency has the skills and experience to do effective marketing through graphic design, marketing management and digital marketing. They have access to all the resources you need and will deliver a return on investment, without you needing to spend time (you do not have) or hire skilled staff (you cannot afford).
When you outsource and build relationships with complimenting service businesses, you have more time to focus on developing and growing your business with what you do best.
4. UPSKILL AND EXPAND YOUR KNOWLEDGE
Not everyone who starts a business knows how to run a business well. We all need to stay ahead of our industries as well as develop into well rounded entrepreneurs and business owners. Taking courses related to your industry, or business courses will help you remain empowered and will give your business its best chance at success. Here are a few institutions who I had the opportunity to work with, who offers various courses or incubations for business owners in South Africa:
We all lose faith in our businesses from time-to-time, it is completely normal but do not let it keep you down. Take the steps you need to renew the faith in your business and continue to pursue your dreams.
What helps you when you lose faith in your business? We would love to know, please share with us in the comments section.
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