There’s nothing more exciting than seeing your small business grow with the effort and hard work you’ve put in. However, the journey isn’t as smooth sailing as anyone wished it to be. There are many struggles to overcome and mistakes to turn into lessons. With that being said, here are some growing pains normally experienced by small businesses.
The First Dip
Sadly, this might not be the last. As much as it’s not ideal, there can be times when unexpected costs come up. Whatever the reason is for the dip, it can be debilitating to limited resources and cash flow.
As a contingency, it’s best to overcapitalize or have cash reserves so your business can have some wiggle room. To supplement, invest time and resources in research to facilitate diversifying your target market. To gain insight on what approach to take, refer to Igor Ansoff’s Strategies for Diversification. Eventually, the additional revenue will come in handy to survive situations like this. Additionally, it’s important to get the insurances relevant to your business. Just like home insurance, it saves you additional costs by having losses and damages covered.
If you’re way past the surprise, consider other solutions and strategies. As one of the decision-makers, you could re-allocate your budget towards your priorities until you conquer the tides.
The First Potential Cyber Attack
If you think that your small business would be the last one to get hacked, you’re wrong. Many initially thought the same, and it only made them vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Bigger corporations look more attractive to hackers, and it’s precisely why they install heavy cybersecurity measures. But regardless of size, data is a currency many want to get their hands on, especially to people who don’t have good intentions.
Forbes shares their list of common areas of cybersecurity lapses in small businesses. Theses include underfunded or inexperienced IT staff, lack of employee training, and poor computer and network security,
It’s important to instill best practices as early as now so that data management is consistent in the long run.
Your First Resignation
The first thing to do is not to take it personally. Remember, this is only the first of many. You must deal with it gracefully and professionally.
If the onboarding process is a transition for new hires, the same is for resigning employees but going the opposite way. Whatever the case, the process is usually facilitated by the HR department. It’s their job to handle this transition legally and fairly as the employee prepares to leave. But as the leader, certain protocols still fall under your jurisdiction. This usually involves the employee exit checklist, which includes turning over files, documents, uniforms, access, company laptop, and more.
Toward the end of the resignation process, HR conducts an exit interview. Here, the employee is asked what might be the reason for their resigning be and if the company has any areas to improve on. Recruitment plan to replace the resigning employee, reviewing employee exit checklist, and processing the final paycheck is among the other responsibilities of HR in this situation.
Again, don’t take this personally. At the end of the day, you want them to do well in their future endeavors. Assist them in this transition by giving them a graceful exit.
The First Negative Review
After you’ve made your first few sales and receive positive feedback, you feel a sense of accomplishment knowing that other people appreciated the products you worked hard to put out. But all it takes is a single negative comment that could lead you to feel the opposite.
Instead of feeling discouraged, take advantage of the feedback (unless it wasn’t constructive). People will always have something to say because there will always be room for improvement. Whether it’s the customer service, a product flaw, or anything in between. Feedback is always important for the growth of your business. The fact that you listen to what your buyers have to say instills confidence and good faith in your brand for being receptive to their wants and needs. At the end of the day, you get to keep your customers happy while bringing in new ones.
The First Disagreement
Decision-makers are involved in big, heavy discussions that concern the future and welfare of the business. Here, opposing opinions are surfaced and conflicts are started. However, conflicts aren’t always bad. When handled well and all parties are receptive to new ideas, it can even be productive.
Some good ideas are born from disagreements. Conflict is a healthy indicator of a dynamic workplace, as long as everyone’s interest is in the business’s future. Some benefits of conflict include exposure to new ideas, open communication, flexibility, attentiveness, understanding each other, setting boundaries, practicing professionalism, and most importantly, innovative solutions.
Conflict management and resolution are practiced in these heated discussions. Continuing to do so will yield fruitful discussions and creative solutions for the future.
The Unexpected Life-changing Events
No amount of training or textbook business model can truly predict unexpected events. Who would’ve predicted that in 2020 businesses that relied on in-person customers would suffer tremendously? Regardless, businesses tried their best to adapt to the changes by joining tech-heavy businesses online. It’s all about research and keeping tabs on the latest trends. You need to be in the know to thrive in the now.
Running a business will never stop being a dynamic experience. No matter the number of years or size of operations, there will be mishaps and mistakes. But there will always be victories and accomplishments that come along with them. So get busy learning and growing. Here’s to your firsts and the lessons you will learn along the way.