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Small business challenges by Heena Njie

Running a small business is challenging to say the least. The business is full of passion, dedication and growth, yet the running of it is very challenging.

So when a crisis happens in the company or to an employee, how does the business still grow, or even continue?

Heena and Michelle

FP Comms is all too familiar with this. I’m Heena, FP Comms’ Marketing Sage; I started the job in September 2015. I was getting familiar with the company and the company was getting familiar with me. In November 2015, my Mum was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Two months in the job and I’m faced with the worst time of my entire life. Not great!


What now?

With a small team already, FP Comms couldn’t afford to lose me and didn’t have the staff to cover my role, yet I didn’t want to be away from my Mum and the company didn’t want me to either. FP Comms crisis!


What were the solutions?

  • Flexibility – FP Comms gave me the flexibility of working when I could work, working from the hospital and working from home. Sometimes, I would try to work and then would have to leave in an emergency. As times got tougher, I was given the option of not working at all until I was ready. I returned four months later after my Mum sadly passed away.


  • Flexibility to do other work – My Mum set up a Community Interest Company called Peer2Peer Education, working to educate young people on life skills such as Sex & Relationships Education, Drug & Alcohol Awareness, Child Grooming, etc. Once Mum passed away, Nicola gave me the flexibility to be able to continue Mum’s legacy by ensuring P2P was still running. I am now the Director of P2P whilst fulfilling my role at FP Comms.


  • Roles – The rest of the FP Comms team chipped in to complete the jobs I was set to do to ensure the business continued to run.


  • Honesty – We work with several clients. I managed a number of their accounts and therefore some of the work was completed later than expected. Nicola, FP Comms’ Director, explained the situation and the clients understood and were happy to stay on board.


  • Don’t stop – Just because the company is one person down, does not mean that the company has to stop working, stop growing and stop achieving. These challenges should encourage you to work harder, better and more efficiently. FP Comms didn’t stop at all. Actually, we achieved something really amazing; we got our client Puriskin into Birchbox UK May 2016.


  • Keep everyone updated – FP Comms kept me in the loop at all times so that I knew I had a job to come back to and to give me some good news when we achieved some of our goals.


  • Be patient and understanding – Life situations happen all the time and when it comes to it, we are all human. Treat those how you would like to be treated. Assure those who are working with you that they will get though their tough spell. And finally, listen. Sometimes, all you can do is listen. Nicola was amazing at this. She was patient and understanding and checked in on me all the time. I can’t thank her enough for that.


Challenging times will come and go. What makes the difference is how you react to them and how you solve them. Make your small business into a big business by jumping over your hurdles and winning the race.

One Response so far.

  1. Sally says:

    This is such a beautiful post. Emotional. Great work Heena!

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