Image Credit: “Barrack St – Brand Identity” by Maskon Brands™ is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 

The Following is a Guest Post by: Susan Ranford

Setbacks are part of every business. If big companies like Ford Motors, KFC, and FedEx had them, you can expect that your business too will experience some missteps along the way. 

If you have recently experienced some setbacks within your organization, don’t fret. This is an opportunity to learn so you can make your business more stronger and less vulnerable to mistakes. With that, we’d like to share with you some ways you regain back control after you’ve just experienced minor setbacks in your business.

1. Put Down Everything

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when your managing a business doing multiple things at once. Sometimes, we’re so eager to hit our monthly targets that we forget ourselves and end up burning out. And when we’re fatigued, we are more likely to make mistakes.

You can prevent things from getting worse by stopping for a moment. Acknowledge the setback and try to analyze the situation from a detached perspective. Write down your observations, and possible solutions you have in mind. Putting your ideas into paper reduces the overwhelm in your mind allowing you to think more clearly.

2. Look for Even More Problems

Since you’re solving problems, you might as well look for more problems. We’re not telling you to be unproductive by just sitting there complaining. We’re talking about making your business less vulnerable. Think of yourself as a heckler and find everything that’s wrong with your business. 

Maybe you’re losing revenue because you can’t decide whether you should have ACH payment versus wire payments when paying salaries to your employees. Or maybe your current supplier can’t meet your growing demand that’s why you’re always getting cancelled orders from waiting customers.

Write them all down –now those are problems you need to solve. By being aware of your problems weak spots, you make yourself less likely to experience setbacks since you’ve already taken the right steps to resolve them.

3. Prioritize

This goes with the first advice. After writing everything down, decide on a solution and list the steps required to execute it. Estimate how long each task will take and assign a realistic deadline. Delegate some of these tasks to your staff so you don’t feel overworked. It’ll also give you more time to discern on problems that require more creative thinking. 

It seems counterproductive that in order to gain control, you need to give up some of it. But that’s exactly how you get the most important things done. Your employees are there for a reason. By delegating tasks to the right specialists and trusting your staff (with only minor interference from you), you reduce the overwhelm on your part and allow your employees some creativity.

4. Fix The Process

Setbacks are often the result of a faulty process. Before the same issue can even happen again, check your current process. It may be someone else’ job to do but as a person in the higher position, it is your task to recognize systems that aren’t working for your organization anymore. Tweak your processes and only finalize when you achieve the optimal results. This may require some upfront investment but it’s one that will pay off in the long run.

5. Listen to Your Employees

Your employees could be seeing problems within your business that you are not seeing. They are closest to your company’s day-to-day operations which means they know more about what the cause of the setback could potentially be. Listen to their input, heck, ask all of them. Make sure each employee opinion is heard. And then consider those opinions when coming up with a new solution. It’s hard to do, especially when you’re used to being in charge, but their insight can be very valuable to your business.

Which of these solutions do you find the most useful to your business? Share your thoughts in the comments below.