There are so many ups and downs of business and it’s easy to wave the white flag and accept defeat. I’ve been down and out before myself.

Small business ownership isn’t a simple walk in the park. There are tons of constant ups and downs associated with this challenging career path. But, as with anything else, you must embrace the good with the bad. If your small business sales have hit an all time low, don’t accept defeat. Know that this is a completely normal, and prioritize the following solutions.

1. Find a mentor.

Get familiar with industry leaders. Out of your favorite idols, who is the most successful? If possible, schedule a one on one meeting with this individual. If this isn’t an option, simply soak up any and all available knowledge. Follow them on social media, visit their blog, and allow your brain to digest all possible education.

2. Become one with your numbers.

Maybe your small business is failing because you don’t have a good handle on your accounting. Sit down with your financial advisor, and review monthly numbers. Can you cut business expenses? Maybe your profit margins are too slim. Keep an eye on the financial data.

3. Do market research.

If you don’t know your customers, and what they want, your small business will eventually fail. This is hands down, probably the most important and valuable advice in this entire post. Don’t make assumptions, based on what you think your customers want. Instead, take time to have one on one conversations with valued customers. Dig deeper, and figure out what your customers really want.

4. Finalize long term projections.

Set future goals. Never just take a shot in the dark when it comes to your small business growth. For example, let’s say your current monthly revenue floats around $5000. Now, with this number, you barely take home any profit. You need to experience a 15% increase in order to remain profitable. Write down these projections. Make sure all employees are aware of these goals and numbers, and make yourself accountable.

5. Get your staff together for an out of the office brainstorming session.

You can’t be the one stop problem solving shop. Don’t be afraid to ask employees for input or help. Schedule an offsite meeting in a casual, relaxed environment. Brainstorm new ideas, and potential solutions to furnish growth.

What’s our best last minute advice? Don’t panic. Don’t search for a scapegoat, and blame internal failures on valuable employees. Instead prioritize progress by developing an immediate solution. There’s only one way out of a hole, and that’s up.