Whether it’s a vacation or the path to be a successful entrepreneur, there is no perfect road map on every journey we go on. There will always be things that get in the way that we did not expect. Whether you are not getting results from a marketing campaign or trying to deal with a difficult client, there will always be speed bumps, construction zones and many detours.

​​The big question is how you handle the situation when you feel like everything seems to be going off the rails.

The key is to make a challenging situation work for you and transform it into a positive situation for your business.

Here are three tips for you to keep in mind when you think things are stacked against you.

1.  Adjust your perspective

When I first took on a position at a help desk in a previous job, someone said to me, “That must be a stressful job! Everyone who calls you is upset or complaining about something.”  I was initially puzzled by this comment because I did not feel the stress, and I did not understand why they would say this.  My personal view is that the help desk was a way for me to help people solve their problems.  That must be the engineering side of me coming out!

There are multiple ways to look at a situation.  As a trained engineer, I will share with you my formula for handling difficult situations:

    • How can we quickly resolve the situation with a fair outcome for everyone?
    • What processes do we need to put in place to ensure it doesn’t happen again?
    • How do we take what we learned and adjust our path to make it stronger?

People who have complaints mainly want to be heard.  Everyone knows we are human and not perfect.  We aim to do our best.  People will understand.  What’s most important is people will remember you by how you resolve the problem, and not necessarily that the problem occurred.

And then move on! I’m serious. Don’t dwell on it.  Call it a learning experience and move onto the next challenge.

2.  Review your plan regularly

As you learn new things about your business or target market, or as the conditions change because of new competitors or economic changes, and most importantly, as you get positive or negative feedback from your clients, you should review your business plan regularly.

​If we continue to take action on a plan that is no longer valid, then we are wasting our time.

One of the main reasons people don’t want to create a business plan is because they think it’s cast in stone once it is on paper.  The reality is your business plan is an ever-changing document and is your road map on how to reach your business success.  It should be reviewed every three months to make adjustments.  It’s your way to keep yourself on track and not going down a road that will take you off course.

You should always be looking for the best way to spend your time and money effectively.

3.  Collaborate with others and be open to new ideas

A client once came to me in meltdown mode, and within 30 minutes, I calmed them down and we had a plan of action to move forward.  Their question was, “How did you do that?”  For one, I have a lot of business experience to draw from.  And two, they would have eventually come up with a similar solution, but since I was arm’s length from the situation, I was able to see things more clearly faster as I had no emotional involvement.

When you open yourself up to an experienced coach, strategist, mentor or adviser that can give you an outside perspective on your business, you will find you and your business will flourish more quickly in ways you did not expect.  They can help you take a difficult situation and turn it into something you can use to your advantage to make your business stronger.

Keep in mind that just because you have always done things a certain way doesn’t mean that the conditions have not changed, and there is now a better and more efficient way of doing the same thing.  You need to be open to new ideas.

As for your business plan, ideally, it should be reviewed by someone else to get another perspective on it to make it stronger.  If someone can accelerate your results, why not take them up on it!

If you are looking for creative ways to improve your business, contact us for a complimentary 1-hour consultation with one of our Business Strategists to see how we can help you take your business to the next level!