Building a “recession-proof” business has been on the minds of many entrepreneurs, as we knew that a recession was inevitable. Ultimately, running a business in a time of global adversity is about continuing to meet our customer’s needs as they change and evolve. As we continue to face chaos, uncertainty, and economic challenges, it’s important to adapt quickly to the changing world — these are practices that will serve your business beyond the post-pandemic world.
Whether your business is flying or flailing right now, these tips are evergreen and can be applied any time when you need to double down, step up, or expand your offerings. Adversity is a part of both life and entrepreneurship. How you show up to it is how you show up for your clients and customers. Here are four holistic approaches to doubling down on your business in times of adversity.
1. Deliver Value Without Attachment To Outcome
First, ask yourself how you can use this time to deliver free value. Matt Shakir, high performance coach and the founder of Awaken Momentum, advised that “There are many ways you can be a resource without an attachment to end results – in other words, without attachment to if anyone ends up buying from you.” He recommends offering value-packed freebies, such as a Facebook group or a cheat sheet. “It’s ultimately about creating new opportunities for your target customer,” he said.
By moving your focus off an outcome, you’ll situate yourself in the heart of what your customers are truly looking for, which can only serve your business in the long run. This will also orient you in a generosity mentality, where you are more focused on what you give rather than what you can sell.
2. Leverage Your Resources
It’s in times of adversity that we need to become resourceful. We often don’t see the full scope of our resources until we’re forced to seek them, and the best resource we have is our network. Look for partners who can make up where you lack: maybe you have a great offering but lack the audience, so you can work with a partner who has an engaged Instagram following. Or, maybe it’s a great time to get together with a group of other motivated and purpose-driven people to create a mastermind or a virtual conference.
If you don’t feel that your current network has what you’re looking for, simply ask your immediate network who they know. Thanks to the six degrees of separation, everyone knows someone who can help. See how you can first offer value, then ask for what you need. Consider thinking beyond your immediate network, too. Local businesses, neighbors, or connections on social media are all great resources.
3. Think Creatively On New Offerings
Treat this time of adversity as a time to tap into some creative thinking. It’s time to think outside the box, because you’re effectively living outside the box. One way to do so is to seek alternate perspectives. Get your friends or trusted colleagues on zoom and talk your business out! Sometimes, outside the box thinking is as simple as asking for an objective opinion, because it’s an outside opinion. Journalist and travel blogger AnnaMarie Houlis recommends playing devil’s advocate with yourself – why is that new offering idea superior to that one? Ask your colleagues and friends to play the devil’s advocate with you, too!
By considering customer problems and potential objections from this new perspective, you could have a breakthrough for a new offering that you’ve never considered, or an adjustment in how you offer your traditional offerings – such as moving from in-person workshops to virtual workshops. Thinking outside the box may fuel new enthusiasm for your business even in hard times.
4. Practice Mindfulness & Stress-Relief
Finally, make sure you are embracing your business holistically, rather than just assessing products, services, and numbers. A holistic approach requires practicing mindfulness and stress-relief during hard times. Otherwise, you can’t show up as your best self for your business, customers, or clients.
Remember that the human brain can’t be truly creative when under times of stress. So, give yourself some leeway. Take deep breaths when you feel overwhelmed and don’t be afraid to take some days off — that mental space will help you rebound when you get back to work! Productivity is going to look different moving forward, and the creators and entrepreneurs who win will be those who know when to hit the pause button to deal with their stress first.
However you’re affected by the pandemic or the economy, these tips can serve your business and how you show up for your customers and clients. Adversity creates the opportunity to rethink what isn’t working, expand your offerings, and make sure your clients are receiving value from you that they can’t get elsewhere. Double down holistically as you make your business not only recession-proof, but adversity-proof.