It is often not the small business that offers the best product or service that succeeds, nor the most talented or educated business owner, it is the small business that perseveres is the one that will see success.
Starting, running and growing a small business can be hard work.
You may start with unbridled enthusiasm, excitement and have great expectations how you will quickly build an amazing business that will generate lots of money, but it won’t take long before the reality of small business ownership kicks in and you come across challenges and obstacles. Regardless of what stage you are in small business, whether you’re a newbie or a long-time veteran, there will always be issues, there will always be things out of your control and things will be slower than expected.
When your small business is not going well or your ideas are taking a very long time to come to fruition, is when the temptation to quit and give up on your business will be the greatest.
People give up too easily.
Giving up is easy. Seeing things through can be hard going and difficult. People want quick and easy, but great things take time and great things always have obstacles to overcome. The small business owners that picks themselves back up after failure and tries and tries again are the ones that have the biggest chance of being successful.
“Perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20th.” – Julie Andrews
Want to achieve your small business goals and fulfil your small business vision, then you need perseverance. Without it, you are likely to choose the easy option and give up.
Now there are certainly times in small business you should stop what you are doing if it really isn’t working, but that doesn’t mean you give up on your overall long-term business vision entirely. Sometimes you may need to re-engineer your business, change the products or services you offer, change your marketing strategy and sales tactics or change who your ideal customer is. Stubbornly sticking with something that isn’t working is just as detrimental to business success as giving up too soon.
You need to ensure you have that balance of stopping what obviously is not working in your business and giving something the necessary time for it to work.
Here are 5 tips to persevere in small business and not give up too soon:
1. Connect with your business vision
What are your long-term business goals and aspirations and why is achieving this important to you? Having a larger vision in your mind of what you are working toward, and a strong ’why’, will help you persevere and push through challenging times. When you have something that is very meaningful and important to you, the hard work required to see things through will seem much easier.
2. Reframe failure and setbacks
Let’s be real here, you will make mistakes and there will be things that won’t go according to your plan. When things don’t go right, don’t beat yourself up, you need to pick yourself back up, learn from the mistake and try again. Embrace your mistakes and setbacks and view them as valuable learning opportunities.
3. Identify potential obstacles
This exercise isn’t meant to put you off pursuing your dream or being negative about your business goals. Have a think about any potential problems or obstacles that might arise, but more importantly think about some strategies you can implement to stop them from occurring and have a contingency plan in place should they arise. While you can’t possibly plan for all the things that might go wrong, this exercise puts you in a better place mentally to deal with problems when they occur.
4. Take regular time out
Take care of yourself and have regular ‘you’ time. When you’re tired, mentally and physically, it makes you feel depleted and deflated. Hardly the qualities you want to have if you want to stay motivated to achieve that small business dream of yours. Having time out will not only rejuvenate you, but it is also often the time creative solutions to problems will come to you.
5. Be realistically optimistic
So things might not go as you had planned, but don’t get down about it. Stay positive and hopeful, but be realistic. I’m all for stretch goals, but don’t aim for something that is unrealistically achievable; you will just give up if it’s too hard. Small business (and life) is full of twists and turns and usually things happen so differently that what was ever expected, but that doesn’t mean it’s a negative, it is simply a different path to reach an end goal, or perhaps even a change to your goal to something bigger and better than what you ever imagined.
Persevere, go the distance and live your small business dream.