The other day I was watching our cat, Patches, as I started to grind some coffee. She froze and looked around. It was a far cry from the reaction she had a dozen years ago as a kitten in this house. Back then, she would have taken off running. It would have likely ended with her sliding on a hard floor surface into a wall. It’s funny to remember it now, but it wasn’t so productive for her. If cats are smart enough to rely upon their experience before making rash decisions, can’t we as humans be too?
Stop and think before acting
My company ColorMetrix has been around for 17 years and, in that time, we’ve survived some tough times and enjoyed some good times. Longevity in the business world creates self-worth and self-confidence that you can get through just about anything the world throws at you; if you are willing to stop and think before acting.
Here’s how that can look
Cash flow problem – First determine if it’s a big problem. Are you already out of cash? Do you have enough cash to get through the week or the month? It helps to step back and honestly assess the situation before you freak out and call your banker. Bankers don’t like talking to freaked out business owners. It does not instill confidence. Take the time to understand the true situation. Develop a plan to solve the problem and then call your banker to present the problem AND the solution. See how you might get further with that approach?
Missing launch date – It would help to think you’re going to miss the launch date about a week out. If it’s the eve of the launch and you realize you can’t make it, I’d suggest you improve your project management process. However with a week left to go, things can be done. Take a look at the tasks left to be completed. Can extra hours be worked? Can extra help be brought in? Can features be dropped for the initial release? Instead of being sure you’ll miss the launch date, focus on what it will take to make the launch date. The finished product may look different than you intended, but you can still hit the date.
Missing sales projections – Once again if it’s the last day of the month, there is not much you can do. If there are a week or 10 days left in the month, there’s plenty you can do. Start by looking at the pending sales that are close to completion. Is there anything you can do to push them across the line? However, if you have to force it, move on to other ideas. Can you do an email campaign to folks you’ve not reached out to in awhile? Can you offer a discount for additional services to your existing clients? Can you get others in the organization to stop what they are doing and help sell until the shortfall is resolved? Solving this problem early can help with not having to deal with the first problem I listed as frequently.
Ask for help
If you own a business and you are reading this post, I’m sure you’ve probably encountered all of the above. If not, I’m 99 percent sure you will at some point in your business life. If you’re stuck with a problem and your experience isn’t helping find an answer, reach out for help. You don’t have to go it alone. You have peers in the business community whom you can ask for help and advice.