There are numerous problems facing entrepreneurs and small business owners. That is the bad news. However, there is also good news in that there are a wide variety of tools to overcome these issues.
At the top of the list of issues for any small business owner is the uncertainty that comes along with owning and operating a company. This uncertainty can come from a surprising number of different directions. For example, one can encounter internal problems with his or her own business, the rise of a competitor, the rise of an unscrupulous competitor, a general slow down in the economy or even a natural disaster. An entrepreneur may even discover that his or her business model, which was cutting-edge and innovative two years ago, is suddenly out of date and has now left the company vulnerable to a variety of market forces.
More than a little stress can come from this uncertainty. Stress impacts our lives in a variety of ways including our health, as stress is responsible for releasing the so-called “stress hormones” that can lead to accelerating aging and a compromised immune system. Further, this stress can also negatively influence how you view your business. If you are too overwhelmed and not thinking clearly, you may not be able to see key opportunities or problems that could direct the course of your future.
So how do you overcome the tension and uncertainty that can come along with being a small business owner? Here are five suggestions for making sure that your business is headed in the right direction.
1. Realize that the more detailed of a plan you have, the better off you will be.
2. Remember that understanding your clients and their needs is of vital importance. Be certain that you are adequately servicing your clients before looking to expand.
3. Be looking for ways to get your existing clients to buy more. Further you should be looking for ways to expand your business once you have firmly established that your existing customers or clients are satisfied.
4. Evaluate your main business strategy in order to be certain that it reflects your current business reality.
5. Do not work constantly if at all possible. You should strive to find ways to step back so that you can relax, reduce your stress hormone levels and see your business with fresh eyes at a later time. Perspective is vitally important and too much stress can alter that perspective and lead to poor decision making.
Additionally, do not be afraid to seek outside help and advice from experienced professionals when you need it. Finding good advice can be the difference between success and failure.
Dr. Madeline Ann Lewis is the President/CEO of the Deline Institute for Professional Development in Maryland. She is a career strategist, speaker, and the author of Finding Your Best Inside: How to Become the Person You Are Meant to Be and Playing from the Blue Tee: Women in the Federal Government. Reach her at 301-693-3284 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
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