Have you asked yourself the question is it time to quit recently? Throw in the towel because the “fair share of challenges” that people have told you about when it comes to running your business has actually become an insurmountable pile of drudgery that you are struggling to navigate? Well you are not alone. This year has been especially challenging for small business owners, with the cost of living crisis, Brexit challenges and a changing digital landscape making it harder than ever to thrive. As a female entrepreneur you can face even more unique obstacles if you are trying to manage family commitments, caring responsibilities or even the menopause. Quite simply, I want to help before you make any big decisions. In this article we will look at some practical advice and support for female small business owners who find themselves at that scary crossroads of wondering it is worth continuing in business. We will look at:
- Assessing viability
- Exploring how to build resilience
- Ways to develop more confidence
The answer may be that you don’t need to throw in the towel just yet, but an adjustment to your mindset and your strategy can help you to find a new route for your small business.
Assessing Viability – It’s time to take stock
Before making any hasty decisions about closing your small business, it’s crucial to take a step back and assess the viability of your operations and approach. Here’s a strategy for assessing your business health:
1: Financial Health Check:
Review your financial statements and projections. Are you consistently losing money, or is there a light at the end of the tunnel? Look at what your biggest income generators are and your biggest costs. This will allow you to look objectively at what levers you might have at your disposal to make adjustments. It is easy to get lost in the weeds – taking a step back and looking at a more holistic level can be a really good exercise for looking at your business visibility.
2: Market Research:
Are there shifts in the market that you haven’t adapted to? Understanding your target audience and keeping an eye on your competitors can help you to identify trends and movements in your market that could represent an opportunity that you can exploit.
3: Realistic Goals:
Do you have a set of realistic goals for your business? Maybe it is time for a bit of re-evaluation? Look at whether your vision and goals a achievable within your current resources and constraints. Sometimes, setting more attainable objectives can help reignite your motivation. In my membership The Courageous Me Collective we have regular goal setting sessions to help you with creating goals that are right for right now, and the members love the accountability of the community. Doors are not always open but you can find out more about it here:
Is it that your business isn’t working, or is it that you are close to, or are in the midst of, burnout? If you have been putting your everything into your small business and neglecting yourself, there is a strong chance that burnout could be affecting not just your performance, but also your judgement.
Building Resilience - The key to overcoming adversity in business
If you love your business deep down, but you have taken a few knocks lately that have made you contemplate closing the doors, then maybe what you really need is a boost to your resilience levels. As women, we are more prone to taking things personally, and reflecting events on ourselves rather than taking a rational approach. This can be exacerbated when managing parenting or caring duties, or managing the menopause! Let’s explore some strategies for building resilience:
- Learning from Failure: Don’t view setbacks as the end of the road; instead, see them as opportunities to learn and grow. Each setback is a stepping stone towards growth. It is a big mindset shift, but it can make a huge difference.
- Seek Support: Reaching out to a network of fellow business owners, mentors, or support groups can allow you to share your experiences and get advice and guidance from the collective experience. Sharing your challenges and seeking advice can provide a fresh perspective and give you that motivation to persevere (or get some useful ideas on things to change!)
- Embrace Adaptability: The business landscape is constantly changing. Being open to change and willing to adapt is essential. Your initial business plan may need to evolve to remain competitive.
- Taking Time Out: A great way to build resilience is to step back! Taking a break is critical to giving your brain and soul the time to rest and reflect.
Develop Confidence In Yourself
One of the key factors in being able to weather the storm that is running your own business lies in building your self confidence so that you develop an unwavering belief in yourself and your ability to succeed. You can achieve anything you want to, you need to remember that. Here are some pointers for building your self confidence:
- Celebrate Achievements: Don’t forget to acknowledge your successes, no matter how small. These milestones can reinforce your belief in your abilities.
- Continuous Learning: Invest in your personal and professional development. Acquiring new skills or knowledge can make you feel more capable and confident.
- Self-Care: Running a business can be demanding. Ensure you take time for self-care. A well-rested and healthy mind will naturally exude confidence.
What You Should Also Be Considering – Coaching
Investing in business coaching can be a game-changer. Finding the right coach can help you with invaluable guidance, insight, and motivation. Look for a coach who understands your industry, your challenges, and someone who can tailor their guidance to meet your specific needs. If you set clear objectives to define what you want to achieve with coaching you can set yourself up to get incredible results Whether it’s improving your business strategies, boosting your leadership skills, or finding motivation, a coach like me can help you to get there. This will be most effective when both you and your coach are fully committed to achieving those objectives. Be mindful though that you need to be open to feedback and willing to put in the work.
Is it time to quit your small business? What to think about first…
Remember, even the most successful entrepreneurs face difficult moments. The key to success is perseverance, adaptability, and continuous learning. If you ever find yourself wanting to give up, take a moment to reflect on why you started your business in the first place. Your passion and determination can help you overcome any challenge and thrive as a female small business owner. Read this and thought – I need to chat to a coach? I could be your woman…