Maintaining Resilience as a Business Owner

You can divide business owners of the world into two groups: those who have had a serious setback and those who are about to have one!

How resilient are you? – was the topic discussed at a recent meeting of the Business Exposure Group.

As a business owner you need to live higher up the resilience scale than the average person, with the ability to adapt to stress and adversity.  Resilience is one of the key things needed to build a healthy and successful business.

The following points were made at the meeting –

  • Focus on what’s in your control
  • Understand and accept the situation
  • Become more creative
  • Learn from the opportunity
  • Solve rather than avoid problems
  • Step outside your comfort zone
  • Build a support network
  • Regulate your emotions
  • Persist rather than give up
  • Look after your workforce

When times are tough sharing your struggles with colleagues can help.  A support team is vital and often sharing can put things into perspective.  But many business owners keep far too much to themselves.

How quickly can your business recover from setbacks in the sales process – don’t look at the sales record as just one good or bad deal or a good or bad week.  Learn from your failures, is your pitch right, did you contact the right people, etc.

Eliminate the things from your business schedule that drain your energy.  Create daily rituals that don’t let you nose dive.  One suggestion was to look at businesses that are a little bit ahead of you – ‘walk a mile in their shoes’, and take inspiration from their approach.  See every challenge as an opportunity for you to expand.

Resilience in business could be called a new style of crisis management.  Resilience makes you more thoughtful about growing the business and as your business matures a cool almost pessimistic reality is needed to be resilient.  Clearly you have to be confident saying no.

Stand by your business vision even though there are lots of external influences.  Embrace difficult conversations with customers/suppliers/colleagues, and don’t take on a victim mentality.  The most resilient of us demonstrate on a daily basis – stability.  We need to keep confident and be a strong stable rock in the business.

After cash flow issues, research shows that 75% of SME owners believe that the biggest drain on their resilience was managing difficult people and office politics.

Most people step into denial as a coping strategy; the key is to develop resilience and stay motivated in the face of constantly increasing work demands.  A back up plan will always be helpful for when things go wrong.

It is important to deal with stress at work, acknowledge and show gratitude to others, don’t expect perfection and only worry about what you can control.  Find a routine and stick to it, delegate and forgive mistakes quickly.

Don’t make a big deal of problems.  Stay focused and maintain your confidence, believe in your yourself and stand by your decisions, and adopt the 5 traits of business resilience

  1. Appreciate business trends
  2. Communicate the vision of the business
  3. Be risk aware even on a small scale
  4. Embrace flexibility within your business
  5. Maintain high working integrity and ethics

Although business appears to be harder these days, without exception, all the members of the groups felt that time away from the day to day minutia of the business was vital for the resilience of the business, and so that work issues do not impair other important areas of your life

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