As everyone who’s ever tried to run a business knows, every business faces tough times. Ideally, your competitor is the one facing tough times, but sometimes it’s you.
Sometimes the tough times are emotional, such as everyone’s favorite night-shift manager moving on to greener fields, or even the death of an employee or co-worker.
Sometimes though, the tough times are financial. Tough financial times can also lead to tough emotional times, so it’s good to have a grip on this side of running a business too.
So much of the business world is essentially little more than a house of cards.
I know of a small business which had to stop selling their number one product because of things that were happening on the other side of the world, things that the small business owner couldn’t have known about – and couldn’t have fixed even if they did.
Scary, isn’t it?
Your ability to feed your family could disappear overnight depending on what happens in another country!
Of course, you probably have months (if not years) of food money put away – but businesses can have slumps which last for years, so you’re not necessarily home-free there either.
One of the worst-kept secrets in business is that the emotional health of a business can affect the financial health of the business.
Do your employees enjoy working for you? If so, chances are they’re giving you free online advertising via social media and they don’t even realize it! Happiness has become part of your brand, and that’s what’s going to bring people to you.
Conversely, are your employees unhappy? If so, they’re probably sharing content which, shall we say, doesn’t paint your business in the best possible light. In this scenario, disappointment has become part of your brand, and that’s what’s going to drive people away from you.
If you’re reading this, you’re most likely in a leadership role, and you need to understand how much impact the way you speak has on those around you – happy workers usually leads to more customers, after all!
For instance, unless you’re working with literal children, your workers will know that a simple request is also actually a direct order.
You could say ‘I want your reports on my desk tomorrow or you’re fired’ and that will get results, but will probably annoy the worker. Contrast and compare to the much-more-friendly-sounding-but-still-just-as-authoritative: ‘Hey, are you still good for those reports tomorrow?’
The employee knows in both cases that they’re being nagged, but only the first one creates any ill will because the second shows them that you trust them to do their job and that you’re simply reminding them. It also gives them a chance to ask for help, unlike the first example.
Ideally, of course, you wouldn’t even need to remind them and they’d turn the work in when asked. But if that kind of thing was normal, then managers wouldn’t have been required in the first place, would they?
Treating your employees like thinking adults (assuming that they are) will create more goodwill than throwing parties every weekend, and it’s 100% free.
It will also inspire them to stick around in the less pleasant times your business might suffer.
But maybe you’re doing all of this already. Maybe all your workers are happy, but your business is struggling financially.
It might be time to pay for some advertising, or maybe you even need a little help paying their wages for the next few months.
If so, you should consider contacting a professional lender who offers emergency business loans.
After all, you can’t very well start a GoFundMe page for your business if you expect to be taken seriously by other business professionals, can you?