Business Problems: Dealing With Serious Issues
I had a rough winter. One that was only two years after my last rough winter. And it has not gotten much better since. Sure, we are getting by, but do not have enough business to get ahead. We are still much better off than others in our same situation. I am speaking of my consulting business. By March/April, I have always been very busy, not this year. Should I lay down and die, just be depressed, or is there another option? There must be good ways to deal with business problems.
It is easy to do. Wallow in self pity. Be depressed about your situation. But it is certainly not constructive. Spending your time worrying about what is going to happen will not do anybody any good. Instead, problem solve your situation.
So how do you problem solve your situation?
Define Your Problem
First, you must know what your business problems are. For instance, I could say that I do not have enough work. Or I could say that my billable rate is too low. Or perhaps I could say that I am in the wrong business. Any of these could potentially be true, but how do I want to frame my problem?
Collect Any Relevant Information
Measure any information you find to be relevant so that you can get a good picture of the way things are.
What Does The Perfect Situation Look Like?
Define, i.e. write down, what your perfect situation would look like. Would I want to work from home? Travel? Employ others to do the billable work? How does my perfect business look?
What Have Others Done In The Same Situation?
Research what other companies or individuals have done in the same situation. Come up with 2 or 3 possible solutions to the problem, if that is possible.
Decide What Elements Are Important In Your Solution
Come up with specific features of your solution that will be important to you. Perhaps making more money is important. Perhaps spending more time at home. Perhaps doing specific types of work. List those features and rate them in importance against each other.
Rate Your Solutions Against Each Other
Rate each of your solutions based on the elements/features previously defined, weighted by the most important features.
Implement The Best Solution
Put the highest scoring solution into action.
Evaluate Your Solution
After implementation, make sure your solution is performing as desired and corrects your business problems. If not, make adjustments and measure again.
Beat Your Head Against A Brick Wall
Sometimes, like in my situation, you must work at the difficult task of selling. Some days are successful, some are miserable, but you need to keep working at it to keep your businesses growing or just going. There may be no substitute for this hard work. And putting in the work is a much better idea than wallowing in self pity.
Do not ever spend your time watching the ground come up at you, i.e. expecting a major crash, it is a much better idea to work your problem or work hard to get beyond your situation.
What do you do when things are challenging?