Small business owners, and the organizations they lead, are an amazingly varied bunch. However, while their day-to-day lives might be full of unique situations, some experiences are universal. If you’re a small business owner, I can make two guarantees. First, you have every intention of accomplishing all of the goals you set for yourself and your business. Second, at times, you’ve found your best efforts falling short. The good news? While the occasional roadblock is an unavoidable part of being a business owner, the right approach to overcoming it will keep a temporary problem from becoming permanent.
Roadblocks are Inevitable (trust me!)
Small business owners have the best intentions – for business growth, their employees, their families – but sometimes roadblocks happen. And, when you’re the one wearing all the hats, those small bumps can turn into major roadwork. Lest you think I am speaking theoretically, take a moment to read my previous blog post. I’ll wait. You may notice that there’s a bit of a gap between that entry and the one you are reading today. And by “a bit of a gap” I really mean “too many months”.
Could I have just started writing again, ignoring the period of silence? Sure. But that wouldn’t be doing anybody any favors. The reality is that every small business owner faces this exact situation, probably more than once. My roadblock interfered with maintaining my blog. Yours might have popped up on the road to a new website, hiring a new employee, or offering a new product or service. When you’re in the thick of things, trying to put out the fires as they pop up while keeping your business operating smoothly, it might seem as though you’re the only one struggling. You aren’t. I promise. But, the manner in which you handle your personal roadblock today will provide the framework for your business’s future success.
So your best-laid-plans hit a snag, now what?
If you’re me, your first step is to take a knee for a moment while you indulge in some wallowing. This might not be a mandatory step, but I find it helpful to allow yourself the luxury of some self-pity. Just make sure that you don’t dwell too long on this step, okay? There’s work to be done. Next, you need to figure out why your plans stalled, making sure to be realistic about your contribution to the problem. Chances are good that there were outside factors that contributed to your roadblock, but chances are also good that with hindsight you’ll be able to see where you might have compounded the issue.
There’s no need for self-flagellation (remember you already finished wallowing!) but when you identify the areas you controlled leading up to the issue, you’re also identifying the changes you can make to keep the same issues from popping up in the future. At this point, you should have a clear understanding of what went wrong and why. Now comes the most important part of the process.
Come up with a plan.
To recap: at this point you’ve hit a roadblock, felt sorry for yourself, and put on your adult hat and identified the moments that led to everything going sideways. The remaining step: move forward. Just make sure you’re moving forward with a plan. The silver linings to any sticky situation are the inevitable lessons learned. If coming up with your plan of attack seems overwhelming, you’ll be happy to know that there are all kinds of resources available to help you break down your goal into manageable steps. Personally, I love the momentum planners at Productive Flourishings, but you’ll find what works for you. Through it all, remember that you aren’t alone. Roadblocks are part of being a small business owner, but they aren’t a reflection on you, your skill, or your business’s potential. You can, and will, get through this. And when you do? You will be that much more prepared for the next roadblock.
Are you a small business owner who has hit your very own roadblock? It might seem insurmountable right now, but I promise that it’s not. If you can’t seem to find the time to even start to formulate a plan, Office Accomplice might be your missing piece. Our team can take over some of the day-to-day tasks that prevent you from moving your business forward, so reach out and let’s come up with a plan together.