Entrepreneurship is a kind of venture that can be full of uncertainties. You might have a good idea, service or product, but that does not fully guarantee quick success. Certain aspects such as marketing, promotions, customer service, logistics and even outside competition can dictate the state of your business – and one way or another, you will be facing bumps along the way.
A struggling business does not automatically mean a failing business. There is still time to turn things around as long as you can layout methods and plans to overcome those obstacles. However, you have to keep your motivation up throughout the process – otherwise, you might be tempted to quit too early.
It would be hard to keep yourself motivated when you are faced with enormous problems in the business. A struggling business could mean that you might be in default of payments to your supplier and other operational expenses, it could also mean that you might have to take a loan just to keep up the business, or worse, it might even mean resorting to lay-offs just to keep some parts of the business running. All these are mentally and emotionally draining, but you can cope by motivating yourself in five different ways:
1. List down and relive big or small successes in the course of your business.
Along the way, you surely experienced successes (whether big or small) in the business. Reflect on these and remember how if felt – and how much work you have put in before you reached that level. This is a form of self-motivation because it can help lighten your mood and feel more hopeful that you still have the goods to overcome your current obstacles. If you did it before, you can definitely do it again, right?
Now try to look back on little successes and stepping stones – the time when you first made a sale, or when you made the first 100th sale when you got 5-star customer feedbacks when you acquired a partnership or received recognition. All that can boost your morale and propel you to plan and work harder to save the business.
2. Retrace your footsteps – remember your goals and aspirations when you first started the business.
With all the hustle and bustle that comes with running the business, it is easy to lose track of the actual goals and aspirations you had when you first started it. Of course, your main goal might be to make passive income, but you might have other reasons in mind then – it could be providing a more affordable option for certain people, to add comfort to customers, or simply to make children smile. Revisit these reasons and motivate yourself to do better for such purpose.
3. Talk to your customers and partners/employees.
Motivation can also come from other people. Try to talk to your frequent customers and long-time employees to find out how much of their lives was changed because of your business. You might find that their stories can motivate you to keep the business alive. It might also give you a fresh perspective for whatever plans of business improvement that you might have had. You may also appreciate their own hard work and motivation in supporting your business – and that is a great boost for your own motivation and inspiration too.
4. Think of how your business can influence the community.
Even if you are running a small to medium-sized business, you could have already made an impact to the immediate community. This is through creating or opening up jobs, bringing in new industries and offices to the area, offering a place where people create special memories, or simply providing more convenience to residents in that area. If you get to realize how much your business actually matters to your immediate community, you can muster up more positivity and motivation to keep it at all costs.
5. Get out more often and find inspiration.
Your sources of motivation should not just come from the immediate factors that can affect your business – it should also be factors that can affect your well-being. So go walk or jog every morning (or afternoon), sketch and write your plans in a quaint coffee shop, create a happy playlist, or immerse yourself in a relaxing bath. These activities can help clear and refresh your mind – allowing you to come up with better plans and ideas for the business.
Remember also that you don’t have to face these struggles alone. Make sure you also share whatever problems and new plans you have with your business partner (or a trusted assistant). They can also be a source of motivation too, and they might be the very people who can help you to see new solutions to fix the business’s problems.