Entrepreneurs Seek Opportunities Under Pressure
Whether customers are stalling payments, or, you’ve hit a time where customers seem ‘few and far between’… it takes a lot of discipline to seek opportunities when you’re business feels like it is ‘down and out’.
These issues are common when you’re in business, and, the manner in which you proceed could be the decision that ‘makes or breaks’ what you’ve worked tirelessly for.
Where there’s a problem, there’s normally an opportunity.
At the Bottom of the Hill
Through my business journey, I have been forced into a number of seemingly insurmountable Situations, it feels like you’re at the bottom of the hill and you don’t know how you’ll ever get to the top:
1. When my 1st and only oil and gas construction subcontract was taken by the principal contractor. I had just doubled my employees to cope with demand, I had just bought new machinery and equipment and setup facilities to finance the purchase. I was left with nowhere to go…..
2. When the first tradesman who I employed completed 1 days work before packing up their tools and leaving that afternoon; I had committed to completing a number of jobs simultaneously and this caused major disruption to my clients projects and to my credibility…..
3. When one of my employees was involved in a car crash; it brought my business management systems to its knees…..
When you’re facing situations of great adversity, it immediately feels impossible. But for some reason that situation makes you see things differently.
Taking the First Step up the Mountain
I took on each challenge simply by the nature of the disruption that it caused; just like a road block, the business conditions can change and vary with deceptive volatility at any moment.
There are ‘pivotal moments’ for business where you will find it hard; then through pure guts and determination you can thrive by the nature of the challenge that is facing you, and, dig deep to find the tenacity to overcome and succeed.
In my case;
(1) I pledged never to be a subcontractor again. I stepped up the level of persistence and began looking for potential customers by searching the ASX (Australian Securities Exchange), creating a list of potential customers, calling their registrar and making appointments. I once travelled 8,000km to win a contract 400km away. The relationship has lasted over 10years.
(2) I had to regretfully call the person who I told previously was not a successful applicant and hope that they would accept a position. This person took the job, and on their first day (after flying to Thargomindah) became bogged in muddy conditions on their way to site and spent their 1st night sleeping in the car in the middle of the outback. The relationship went on, and over a 8 year period this person became a senior manager within the company and remains a close friend.
3) The person was not hurt, but the potential for injury was very real. The car was completely written off. Everybody involved was shaken. I went on to write a documented safety management system that became AS4801 certified. No similar occurrences happened again. This person went on to become one of the businesses longest and most loyal employees.
Take an Objective Approach
It doesn’t matter what the situation is, if you can break down the points that matter (how, why, when, what), then you can use the disruption to create a pathway for improvement – this is how you seek opportunities under pressure.
Written by Geoff Pike, Entrepreneur, Speaker & Business Mentor
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Geoff founded a sole trader plumbing business in a remotely located and vastly underpopulated location in outback Australia. Starting business with only enough money to pay 4 weeks wages, Geoff persisted by growing the business into a multi-disciplined trade services company. Over a period of 12 years, the company Geoff established grew to employ a workforce of over 300 personnel covering an area almost half the size of Europe, receiving international award recognition with an annual revenue of over $30mil. Geoff knows what it takes to overcome adversity.