Opinion

COVID or Not, Entrepreneurial Headaches Persist

entrepreneur

With the lockdown taking a toll on interpersonal skills and proximity, people are finding it difficult to take on tasks like face to face communication. With many staff cuts, many have resorted to starting their “at-home online business” to pay the bills. An Entrepreneur by definition is a person who sets up a business or businesses, taking on financial risks in the hope of a profit. Suppose your business started well and the lockdown ends, now you’ll have to think about growing this venture to continue its operations. What do you do?

A Changing Problem

The biggest task of an entrepreneur is problem-solving. To provide a product that sells, one must identify its need and provide a solution that fills this need in society. Might I add, entrepreneurs are in a constant hunt for a problem you think you never had. However, the inconsistencies of covid restrictions according to the location as well as a social class have translated to an ever-changing problem, and an ever-changing problem requires an ever-changing solution. Although not knowing what the future holds, even a week later, is ground zero for a gamble but business means business and you can’t be in a problem yourself while finding a solution for others.

Employees

Dealing with employees requires a robust internal communication strategy.

Before I talk about dealing with stakeholders of the company, I would like to talk about the employees. As soon as your business is ready to expand, you will be required to hire more employees. However, dealing with employees requires a robust internal communication strategy. This must include a code of conduct or a protocol with which messages are communicated to the employees as well as a feedback mechanism without hassle. You might consider establishing a message tracking system in place especially if your employees prefer to work from home or are internationally located. The risks of not doing so would be having unmotivated employees or confidential messages being read by the wrong people. Some communication strategies that you can involve are here.  

 Customers 

You must first compose yourself and not play the game of tit for tat.

Customers are my favorite, mostly because they are unpredictable and always bring something new to the table. They are like the meteor showers on Earth, coming in hot and occurring whether you like it or not. There are various types of them but here’s how can you deal with the most infuriating ones:

  1. The ones who want it all

    These are the customers that want it all and want it fast and cheap. They have no regard for what you offer at the price you do because they can only think about what is most they can get out of something. They will even insist that your neighbour can provide the same service at a cheaper price. And their whinging continues when they are told that you are a business that functions the way it does to keep running.

To these humans, you must remind them that there are various offers to achieve what they want to achieve at a rate that is sustainable and that you truly wish you could give them what you want.  An idea would be to extend an olive branch by offering a discount or politely mentioning that they can unsubscribe to their service or return the product and have a nice day.

 

  • They who just need someone to listen to 

    While in business you might encounter those who have recently had a personal or professional problem and have taken this phone call as an opportunity to tell you all about it. They called you for A and they sidetracked to B and bam, you are at C which is miles away from A and right in the depths of despair.

 

To handle these you must first empathize and somehow distract them by the business at hand. Remind them what you intend to do to help them with why they called and they will be brought back from the venting mode.

 

  • The uncouth ones 

    These are the kinds of customers that no one likes to receive and probably do not want to do business with. They abuse you over call and think you are their servant. They do not understand a beautiful seven letter word called manners and go on and on in their egotistical rage. Maybe they are just really good at expressing their anger.

 

To deal with them, you must first compose yourself and not play the game of tit for tat. Try to redirect them to a different channel of communication, probably an email which will provide them time to collect their thoughts and reassess what they are saying.

You can find more tips here.

Shake Hands or Elbow Bump?

The nod acknowledges the other person by showing some respect and when the nod is elongated, it is much like a bow that screams politeness.

This is often an awkward encounter between people who have faced government restrictions at different points on the spectrum of severity. Those housing with high-risk individuals have made it a point to keep themselves, and those they love, protected. However, most students on the other hand have found a way to go about doing what they would be doing anyway. Thus, to avoid the awkwardness between these two forms of hello, I introduce to you, “THE NOD”. The nod acknowledges the other person by showing some respect and when the nod is elongated, it is much like a bow that screams politeness. You can never go wrong with this one. 

*THE NOD*

Cover: Aakansha Gupta

Edited By: Sajal Bhateja

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