The business nightmare you always wanted

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So you decided sometime in the distant past that you’d had enough of working for someone else and you decided to go it alone and you set up your own business to start to make your way as an entrepreneur.

All is well and you enjoy the new found freedom and excitement of being your own boss.

However the honeymoon period will have come to an end at some point and you get down to the hard reality of working for yourself. There are bumps along the way and the occasional pothole to try to derail you.

How you deal with these challenges will say a lot about you as a business owner….and a lot about your business.

During tough times it can be easy to lose sight of what you are good at. It’s to easy to lose confidence and start searching for the quick win, that promises a seemingly easy financial reward – but in the process, you can lose focus on what your business actually is.

The carrot dangles…

If you can just get that one contract or sale then all will be well; or….your core market is not responding so let’s try something different, after all sales are sales aren’t they? Or…..if you can sell business consulting services, then you will be fantastic at selling photocopiers…or chemical products…or t-shirt printing….

This scatter gun approach, generated by a need to succeed at all costs, is all too common among small business owners. Ultimately, this kind of approach can leave a business owner demoralised, wondering why they bother and what to do next.

The key here is to know what you are good at – and to keep this knowledge alive ALL THE TIME.

The new revenue stream that has caught your eye….is this kind of business the dream you always wanted to build ?

I suspect not. I believe that you want to be the person in the know – respected and consulted with. If you want to be this person then, when times are tough, take a breath, take a long hard look at yourself, and ask yourself these two questions:

  1. What have I done wrong?
  2. Why are people not responding to my brand?

These two questions need answers to get you back on track.

In better times, your clients responded to your hard work – and they will again: you just need to understand what you did before, that you are not doing now. Often this means going back to basics.

You have seen the huge range of products with the tagline ” Keep Calm and Carry On”?

This is a good mantra for the small business owner. It’s a dream to own a business and the dreams often come true…but you will have times when the dream becomes a nightmare.

If you address the challenges, and keep your focus, I can reassure you, that you will wake up in the morning with a new day and new opportunities, that will keep you on track to deliver what you do best.

The only thing stopping you getting back to basics – will be you.

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Useful links for UK small businesses:

www.fsb.org.uk
www.smallbusiness.co.uk
www.greatbusiness.gov.uk

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Ian Smith is the MD and owner of Coloursmith Ltd – a business consultancy practice that services the textile industry, offering training, consultancy and project management.
www.coloursmith.co.ukhello@coloursmith.co.uk

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