5 Ways Small Business Owners Can Recover From a Bad Break

By Patrick Ebarle

Bad things will happen. It seems pithy, but when you’re running small businesses, mistakes, errors, and failures are all inevitable. It is possible to do everything right and still have things fall apart, so avoiding all missteps isn’t what your goal should be. Your actual goal should be developing the ability to recover from a bad break. Here are five ways you can do that:

1. Develop Strong Lines of Communication

For many people, the first thing to fall apart when they’ve had a bad day is their ability to communicate. Politeness falls by the wayside, and because of one bad moment, your office’s productivity suffers. Keep this from happening by making sure that there are understood methods of communicating with you. 

That is not just about methods like email and times when your door is open for consults. It’s also about the tone people should take with you. An understood rapport with your employees can help you can back on the horse as if the incident never happened. If you’re indeed in a mood, however, you should limit face-to-face interaction. Stick to email, texts, and instant messaging, and let people know that it’s how you prefer they contact you throughout the day.

2. Manage Your Social Interactions

When your mood is in a rut, the best move is to spend time stabilizing. Removing yourself from the social sphere, at least for a few hours, can give you the time you need to recover emotionally. Don’t let people drag you into non-business related conversations until you’re ready to talk.

That also means not dragging people into your whirlpool of a mood. The urge to vent might be there, but it’s something you should ignore. You can vent when you feel better. You should also give yourself a moment before replying to anything sent to you, lest you present an unnecessarily negative tone.

3. Take a Break

A lousy moment can affect your entire day. It might be tempting simply to power through it, and to a certain extent, that’s the correct play. Just because you’re not feeling well doesn’t mean you can shirk your small business duties. However, that also doesn’t mean you need to dive in when your sea legs aren’t under you.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed or desperately off-balance, take a break. Rest, and let your mind recover from the blow. Forcing the issue might lead to further mistakes, which can lead to a spiral wherein it feels like you can’t do anything right.

4. Cut the Fat

When things are looking overwhelming, for whatever reason, it’s time to scale things back. Job stress is a genuine concern for many people around the world, so when you’re reeling from a mistake, you should do all you can to minimize it. Cut out the superfluous or less critical task from today’s schedule. Focus on the most important things so you can re-develop your rhythm and confidence.

5. Manage Your Personal Life

When your work life seems a little off balance, it might be time to focus on either thing, at least for the time being. Let your mood take charge, and you may end up overly concentrated on your small business, to the exclusion of your personal life. That is not only unhealthy for your overall well-being, but it also makes things worse.

Talk to people at the office, get your bases covered, and take a day just to mind yourself and your friends. Not only will this make you feel better, but it’ll also help make sure you retain some work-life balance.

Mistakes will happen, and that’s OK. Great small business owners aren’t great because they don’t commit errors. They’re great because they know how to recover from them.


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