Like sailing on a yacht, being an entrepreneur is not easy. Even in the best economic climate, the challenges of building and maintaining a business can be daunting. It is no surprise then that the current Covid-19 situation, financial markets’ volatility, political uncertainties, and constantly changing regulations make small business growth particularly difficult.
As an entrepreneur myself, I have weathered a fair share of crises. Every predicament has presented the opportunity to slow down, to take a step back and rethink strategy and direction. These are my tips for keeping your entrepreneurial spirit intact and sustaining a dignified and ethical business model during hard times.
1. Flex Your Entrepreneur Muscles
The ability to adapt to change—to modify plans and amend tactics—is an important component of managing your life — and your business. Flexibility and agility are the founding principles of entrepreneurship and they are what will bring you and your product success. Change really is the only constant for entrepreneurs. It is accelerated and accentuated in crisis conditions. Make sure to re-engage the mechanisms that made you a successful entrepreneur in the first place.
2. Be Creative
Creativity is likely what got you this far in your entrepreneurial journey. Your ability to think of new ideas, see problems from various angles, and introduce innovative solutions are assets. Use them. Consider new avenues for reaching clients, rethink your existing products, and work around any obstacles. Tap all your resourceful and imaginative energies and channel them toward your business. If there is a time to think outside the box it is now.
3. Build Partnerships and Community
Never underestimate the value of your professional network. Business associates and collaborative partners take on even greater value during a crisis. Review your contacts and identify those who can be helpful and cooperative at this time. Think together about pertinent offers you can make to clients right now. Show your client community that you are still thinking about them and introducing them to new and helpful businesses that care about them too.
4. Don’t Play on Fear
With the abundance of information and 24-hour news cycles, it can be tempting to use an incoming news story as an opportunity to sell your product or services. This kind of “newsjacking” capitalizes on fear and plays on people’s vulnerabilities. Your business model should be sound enough to avoid manipulative measures to grow.
5. Evaluate Everything Often
The best gift a crisis can give you is the chance to appraise every aspect of your business. We rarely take the time to ask ourselves major venture-related questions. Invest energies in reviewing if you are in the right business space? Are you targeting the right audiences? Does your marketing strategy need revamping?
When things are stable and going well, we assume that we shouldn’t“fix what isn’t broken.” When tides turn and the market is unpredictable, you can and should do all that fixing. Think: if it isn’t broken now, will it break soon?
Don’t give up or get disheartened. Just like every other hardship in life, this too shall pass. Entrepreneurs are a strong and resilient bunch. You can survive this time and emerge as the better version of yourself and your business. Learn as much as you can, grow in the areas and skills that you want, and emerge from this period with a thriving and successful company.