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‍Entrepreneurial Setbacks: How to Make a Strong Comeback


People often avoid challenges because they’re afraid of failure.

But setbacks are bound to happen at one time or another in your entrepreneurial journey. While they can be challenging and disorienting, dealing with these roadblocks is crucial to achieving success.  

By trying to dodge failure, you can end up avoiding experiences that have the potential to enrich your life.  

Common Entrepreneurial Setbacks

Every small business owner and entrepreneur faces their own unique challenges, but some difficulties are common to all, including the following:

1. Bad Reviews / Accusations / Scandals

Unhappy customer leaves a negative review online

In today’s digital age, consumers use social proof in the form of reviews and star ratings to help them make a decision faster and with confidence. So, the more positive reviews you have the better.  

Unfortunately, bad reviews are inevitable and they can taint your reputation, especially if you don’t know how to handle them well. In fact, 94% of consumers say that they avoid a business because of negative reviews.  

In extremely severe situations — like getting caught in a public scandal, for example — you may end up losing your reputation, leaving your business vulnerable. But, there are ways to repair your reputation, including the following:

  • Rebrand to regain your customers' trust. It's the first step towards acknowledging that what was done is unacceptable and that your company is making an effort to rectify it.
  • Apologize, own up to your mistakes, and focus on what’s best moving forward.  
  • Hire an internet marketing agency in Miami to help with the search results tied to your name or company name. As much as possible, you only want the positive stuff to appear on the first page of the search engine results pages when users look up your name on Google. But of course, repairing your reputation won’t happen overnight. It may take a while before things go back to normal.

2. Losing Major Customers

Loyal customers spend 67% more on your products and services than new customers. They contribute to the lion's share of your monthly revenue, which is why it’s devastating when one of your major customers doesn’t need your services anymore, or they decide to get them elsewhere.  

If you find yourself in a tough spot after losing a major customer, here’s what you can do to replace your lost revenue:

  • Find new ways to increase sales by doubling down on your existing customers. Offer them products or services that they don’t currently have or those that are complementary to their recent purchase(s).  
  • Don’t get complacent. Put in extra hours and effort until you’ve found a replacement for your lost income.  
  • Don’t rely on one client to provide a huge percentage of your income. Instead, replace your lost income with several smaller customers that would add up to this number. Doing this allows you to protect yourself in case one of them leaves in the future.  
  • Communicate your business situation with your team effectively. During this time of uncertainty, you want to keep it all together for your employees by telling them that this setback is temporary. Encourage and empower them so that they will develop a sense of ownership.  

3. Personal Problems

Business owner has personal problems.

They say that you should always keep your personal and professional life separate. But sometimes, a traumatic loss or event in your personal life can get the best of you and affect the work you do.  

This makes it difficult to focus and get things done in your business.  

When this happens, don’t be afraid to take time off and delegate work to your trusted employees.

Delegating is good. It empowers your team, shows them you trust their discretion, and assists with their professional development.  

Here are some tips on how to delegate tasks effectively:

  • Choose the right person for each task you delegate.  
  • Provide context or explain to them why you’re giving them that responsibility.  
  • Provide resources and training.  
  • Empower your chosen employee to make decisions.  
  • Check their work and provide feedback.  
  • Thank your employees for a job well done.  

4. Issues with Team Dynamics

Did you know that 65% of high-potential startups fail because of conflicts in team dynamics within the founding team?

Different factors can lead to issues with team dynamics, like an aggressive personality trying to dominate and intimidate team members, or a lax work style that affects other team members' deadlines or output.  

Whatever the reason is, it’s a serious problem you need to address. You want your employees to be happy and comfortable in their work environment so that they can perform their best.  

Here’s how to boost your team dynamics and resolve conflict among your team members:

  • Do a team health check to assess what’s going wrong in your organization. Pay attention to your employees at work and do individual interviews in a private, confidential space. If you must, talk to your customers and other relevant people. The goal is to find out as much as you can about your team’s problem.  
  • Once you figure out what the problem is and how grave the situation is, address it right away. Speak to the concerned parties in private and tell them what you know, what you’ve observed, and how their behavior or actions are affecting others and the organization as a whole. Ask them to reflect on their behavior and how it can be changed to support your company’s culture and goals.  
  • Define roles clearly to set outcome expectations. This can help your team members address their responsibility and work together more effectively. This also makes it easier for you to hold underperforming team members accountable.  
  • Develop a company culture that seeks to support your employee's well-being, professional success, and enthusiasm for work. Do team-building activities to encourage trust and build respect among team members.  
  • Use the right tools for more effective communication between your employees, especially if you have remote workers. You want to keep them in the loop with everything that’s happening in the office by using Slack or Zoom meetings. This will help make them feel included and heard.  

Having excellent group dynamics can boost employee productivity and satisfaction, contributing to the overall success of your organization.  

5. Not Enough Cash Flow

A lot of small business owners and entrepreneurs struggle with insufficient cash flow. It’s a hard lesson to learn, but money owed is not money in hand.  

When your invoices are outstanding and you need money for urgent obligations like your employees' payroll or payment of a debt, here are some solutions you can try out:

  • Consider loaning money on the promise of an outstanding invoice as a temporary solution. For example, if your business has an outstanding invoice of $100,000, the lender might give you $75,000. But when the customer pays up, the lender gets the whole invoice payment.  
  • Budget and plan ahead to improve and maintain your cash flow. You can do this by requiring down payment for your products or service. Set the amount of your down payment enough to cover the expenses associated with a given sale or project.  
  • Invoice clients within 15 days instead of the typical 30-day invoice period. This gives you enough time to get paid before next month’s bills are due.  
  • Request immediate payment once the project or sale has been completed.  
  • Establish good relationships with your vendors and ask them to invoice you for 45 or 60 days to give enough time for your payments to arrive and your checks to clear.  

6. Lack of Marketing

Business owner wants to use internet marketing in Miami to promote business.

With limited resources, startups and small businesses can only do so much to get the word out about their products and services.  

Fortunately, there are many ways you can promote your business online without spending too much. In this digital age, you have the option to do content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, digital advertising, SEO, and more. Each of these channels represents a way to get ahead of the competition.

By hiring the right agency for internet marketing in Miami, you can launch effective campaigns within your budget.

The goal is to tap into experts to help you create a core marketing plan to provide direction for your marketing activities. This can help you send the right message consistently, enhancing your branding efforts and building your customer loyalty.  

7. Business Expansion or Growth

Every small business wants to grow and expand. The problem, however, is that they can’t take on any more work in their current structure or they won’t know how to expand.  

If you’re used to wearing all hats but want to be able to take on more work to grow your business, then don’t hesitate to hire more people on your team and delegate tasks.  

This will give you the ability to focus on the different ways you can expand your business like adding new products, acquiring a new business, or moving into new markets.  

So, how do you know which of your tasks to delegate? Here is a list of tasks you should be delegating according to Jenny Blake, a career and business strategist:

  • Tiny tasks that only take a small amount of your time to complete but add up over time. Stuff like replying to comments or DMs in your business social media accounts, deleting spam from your inbox, or scheduling meetings.  
  • Regular, time-consuming tasks like doing the paperwork can take a chunk of your time away from actually running your business. Look for ways to distribute segments of that task by maybe hiring an HR or outsourcing accounting services.
  • Tedious tasks that require little skill, such as compiling lead information or data input.  
  • Tasks that do not require expertise and you could easily teach someone else to complete.  
  • Tasks that you have no knowledge of or skills for, like SEO, internet marketing Miami, or website design.  

Are You Currently Experiencing Entrepreneurial Setbacks?

Consider setbacks an essential part of your entrepreneurial journey towards success.  

Overcoming them is essential to develop new skills and open windows of opportunities that will enrich both your personal and professional life.  

At Digital Resource, we offer a wide range of internet marketing services in Miami that will help propel your small business forward and achieve its goals.  

Contact us today for a custom digital marketing plan that will put your business at the top of the competition!

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