Girl. Don’t even get me started on the challenges I’ve faced as a business owner. Some have been breezy; others make me want to throw my lamp through the wall. But no matter how complex the task at hand is, the important thing is that I learned to adapt – quickly and efficiently.
Adapting as a business owner is crucial to ensuring your business stays afloat when you encounter frustrating things that you can’t control. So if you want advice straight from the horse’s mouth –
Here are my 6 top tips:
1. Be open to criticism, but don’t be a punching bag
There will be times when you have a vision of what looks best, but it will not line up with the customer’s wants. They may critique a design and tell you what needs to be changed to obtain what they had in their head – and that’s ok.
However, you are also allowed to stand your ground on decisions you’re confident in. After all, they hired you for your expertise! For example, if a client wants to use a script font, but you notice it’s tough to read – stand your ground and explain why you’d advise against that choice. It’s not only your job to give them what they want but also to educate them on what they need!
2. Know when to say no
Have you ever encountered a client with numerous changes? Or a friend always looking for their next freebie? Then girl – learn to love the word ‘NO!’
You are valuable. Your skills are assets. Your work and time are worth paying for. There is no reason that you have to feel guilty if you need to charge extra to make additional changes past the initial ones included in the contract. And you indeed should never feel obligated to offer work for free just because a friend or family member pulls the “I’d do it for you” card. Remember that – because it will save you a lot of pain and frustration down the road.
3. Adopt a schedule and planning process
If you’ve been running your business on the fly for a while – it might be time to put on your big girl pants and get yourself a calendar book and plan out your days. Believe me, when you’re first starting… it’s easier to get away with working on an unpredictable schedule. However, the more your business grows, the more critical it will be to become organized.
You are doing yourself a favor when you allow yourself the proper time to plan and work out your schedule in advance. Not only will it keep your work running smoothly, but it will enable you to take more time for yourself when needed too.
4. Say yes to self-care
Speaking of taking time for yourself… you need to value self-care!
There is nothing that spells burn-out more than a busy boss that burns her candles at both ends without taking a moment to herself. Like – for goodness sake, if you’re burning candles, you might as well burn some in the bathtub with bubbles and wine beside you!
Believe me – having some ‘me time’ once in a while will help clear your mind and increase productivity. It’s not considered ‘wasted time’ if it keeps you sane.
5. Decipher if it’s an opportunity or a chore
There will always be some client that will come and pitch you a daunting new idea or project that will be disguised as a ‘great opportunity.’ This happens a lot. And hey – sometimes they are! But if your gut automatically reacts adversely and your brain/body connection is screaming that it’s a chore? It’s probably an ‘opportunity that is work giving up.
Being an adaptable businesswoman means that you have adapted enough to know where your boundaries are and what’s worth crossing them for. This is a sign of strength and maturity as a business owner, and never let anyone tell you otherwise.
6. Be able to restructure on a dime
Are your new team members not completing their tasks? Or was your business plan working for you at one point, and now it’s not? Then in the wise words of Ross – you need to be able to PIVOT! (And if you’ve never seen friends, what have you been doing in life).
This could mean having a couple of options available or in mind if anything falls through with an employee. Or it could mean having backup business plans if you need to change things up! However, the most important thing to remember is not to stress! We make poor decisions when we are acting on a fear-motivated feeling. So keep your game face on and your rational side strong… and make those changes with confidence!
But no matter what… The most important thing for a business owner to remember is to give yourself grace at the end of the day. You need to be kind to yourself and acknowledge that you are doing your best to adapt to the times. It is so much you face in a day and if you’re not doing it all perfectly, just rest knowing that everyone is going through the same feelings you are.
From me to you – you’ve got this, girl!