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Recovering from a business setback

Bouncing back from setbacks is a key skill for business owners as things don’t always go the way they are planned when unexpected situations arise from time to time. How a business owner deals with setbacks can be the difference between success and failure. To be successful in your career, you need to be able to take losses, grow from them and ultimately become better than before.

Acknowledge the problem

When faced with a setback it can be easy to turn a blind eye or place blame. Whilst no one wants to look at their mistakes or shortfalls, denying a problem or shifting blame is unlikely to help you work through it, so it is best to address issues head-on. Consider all the factors that may have contributed to the problem, such as weaknesses in the business’ model or external circumstances, and develop a plan of action to address any issues.

Look at the bigger picture

It is easy to lose sight of your vision and focus on the negatives when facing a setback. Instead, think of your setback in perspective of your business as a whole and question whether it will matter in one, five or even twenty years time. Consider the new opportunities that may arise from your setback and focus on moving forward.

Take action

When dealing with a setback it is important to re-evaluate and prioritise your business objectives; this may mean exploring an alternative path or tweaking your business plan. List all the steps you need to take to get back on track. This may mean asking yourself difficult questions or letting go of elements that aren’t working for. Don’t be afraid to seek advice and support from others as they can help you gain perspective and come up with solutions to address the problem.

Celebrate small wins

Perspective is everything. Though a setback in your business dream can dampen your enthusiasm for your ideas, looking at the positives can help you get back on track faster. Each time you experience rejection, you develop a thicker skin which prepares you for your next business venture. If you aren’t feeling ready to restart your plans so quickly after a loss, use that time to plan what your next move will be, how you can take on what you’ve experienced and then use it to better yourself in future business pursuits.

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Mark Holton