If you ignore these points then you can forget about growth
Problems are a part of life and they will play a part in your business. Each day new problems arise such as new legislation and economic issues that can affect your business. Rather than ‘fire fighting’, you want to be able to anticipate such problems and prepare for them.
Sometimes you invest in an idea that ultimately fails and that is a problem. But as Sir Richard Branson says in an interview with entrepreneur.com:
Or as Melissa Thompson writes in a Forbes article ‘Four Effective Tips To Overcome Entrepreneurial Setbacks’
This holds especially true for entrepreneurs who must make quick moves after a mishap to facilitate a quick recovery and minimize potential losses.”
Keeping Your Business Secure
Data security is a big problem faced by businesses. There is the need to protect your data, use it properly and stop if falling into the wrong hands. You can take preventative measures by having a strong data security knowledge base and this should extend to all of your staff.
Being aware of new legislation like the GDPR will put you in good standing as will the time and effort you invest in learning and implementing cyber security best practices and yes, you may need to invest in software, it’s a pain and the cost is off putting but the investment may pay dividends if it keeps your data safe from hackers.
If you can build a reputation for reliability with data, it will set a precedent that wins customers for your company.
Website And Server Crashes
Hosting a good website is a costly proposition and having a website by no means makes your business infallible. Maybe this is why ‘2 million small businesses in the UK don’t have a website’ according to www.em360tech.com.
Even when you have pooled money into a high quality site and reliable servers, those servers can still go down and they can down at critical times when high volumes of requests and leads are coming in.
A good fail safe is to have your social media assets ready as a back up when your site goes down. As long as you can respond to customers and reassure them, server downtime doesn’t have to be a major problem.
Dealing With Angry Customers And Trolls On Social Media
Social media can be a great way to generate leads, celebrate achievements and engage with customers. It is also a breeding ground for underhand tactics from competitors who pose as angry customers on your Facebook page and twitter feed.
People can and do go as far as setting up fake pages in your business name so do your research to find out how to stop such activity, remove fake accounts and online ‘trolls’ who try to damage your company’s reputation.
Keep an eye on your socials or designate this task to an employee to keep those fake accounts and trolls at bay, remember, once the damage is done, the road to recovery can be long and painful.
For those times when your angry customers are genuine and justified, own your mistakes, engage with them and put things right. If it becomes a large scale issue, put out a public apology and offer concessions to anyone who has suffered from disruption to services.
Going back to that Richard Branson quote ‘ people who try things and then fail are actually well-respected’, be polite, cordial and honest, part of being a professional is handling your mistakes like a pro and if you do so, people will respect you for it.
Use social media monitoring tools like Hootsuite to stay on top of what is being said about your company in real time, engage as much as possible and do so in an appropriate manner.
Shortfalls In Productivity
Solopreneur or business ninja, if you’re going to be a success, expect a busy and volatile schedule that will drain you. To quote Liam Neeson in the film ‘Taken’:
If this sounds like one of your conversations with a client, you know what we are talking about! To keep the business lean and efficient you need time, money, a ‘particular set of skills’, help, more time, more money and the patience of a saint! You’re going to have days when you are deep in the trenches with paperwork up to your waist, staff shortages and phones that won’t stop ringing!
Productivity is the life and blood of your business. While you are going to have ‘off days’, you need to prepare for all eventualities and make sure your productivity stays consistent even when its a battle. Plan your time, delegate tasks, find ways to cut out unnecessary tasks that hinder the workflow and have some initiatives in place to cope with the extra busy days and those days when resources are low.
Don’t be a ‘fire fighter’, prepare preventative measures to stop fires happening in the first place. At the very least by planning ahead you can minimise problems when they occur.