Will my business make it?
How do I market during these times of change?
What can I do to grow?
I hear these questions a lot lately.
My belief is…if you make it you can make it!
As I’m looking for ways to help me in my business, I found 3 things I want to share to help during tough times – and the upside is a strong business.
- Create a resilience plan
- Shift your strategy
- Develop a mindset and self-care routine
Resilience can be created
If we, as small business owners, can plan for whatever may come up then our businesses can last through the ups and downs.
Small businesses are highly vulnerable (as we have found out during the pandemic) but if we can prepare for worse-case scenarios then we have a fighting chance to keep afloat…and even see growth.
I found a good resource (free one) from the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation called the Business Resilience 101 Workbook. It’s 66 pages that you’ll want to go through step-by-step!
It’s quite a bit of info, but as I started going through it, I realized there were a good many things I needed to prep my business to be more resilient.
SCORE is another resource with a Small Business Hub that offers mentoring, training, and a resource hub.
Shift your strategy
I love the maker businesses because if you have a sewing machine if you have a stove if you have knitting needles if you have a hammer and nails…if you have two hands and an idea and are relatively creative and you can have a business.
The thing that scares people the most is marketing their businesses because they don’t wanna sound pushy.
They don’t want to sound like they’re pushing their products on people because they’re not sure if they can afford it or if they want to buy during times of change.
You have a unique product. You have a talent for making something very cool.
And you can make something that people need, that they want and that can give them support when they need it most.
Support and empathy right now, at least in my mind, are the two biggest factors when it comes to serving any of our clients and customers.
And when we show them we care…when we show them we’re listening and learning and changing and growing…that is when our businesses will grow and expand.
So how can you shift your marketing to reflect your support and empathy for your customers?
How can you shift your business model to help you grow?
Some business models are failing but that brings about change for a new business model.
One of my favorite podcasts is PNR This Old Marketing with Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose.
In episode 237 they talk about some cool ideas for restaurants…ways to shift in order to grow.
Some restaurant owners who can’t adapt and shift will end up closing.
Then there are other delis and restaurants that are doing takeout only or have created food trucks that people can place orders with and then pick up food when the truck comes into the neighborhood.
If one way of getting your product out to customers doesn’t work you can switch and try another method.
If your retail store isn’t generating any business right now…go online.
You can do cool events on Facebook Live. Ask people place their orders in the comments. Have them DM their email so you can send them to Paypal to complete their order.
Develop your mindset and self-care routine
Some of the toughest obstacles in business happen in our own minds.
One practice I’ve re-adopted and made part of my morning routine is to write morning pages. Julia Cameron, the author of The Artist’s Way, has used this stream-of-consciousness technique to spark creativity.
I find it’s also a great way to start my day because I write out any thoughts that are occupying my mind…let them go…and move onto my work with a clear head.
When it comes to self-care, there are many ways to work taking good care of yourself into your day.
Alaina Schwartz, JD summed up self-care in a post on LinkedIn.
First is to just give your permission to take good care of yourself.
Next is to find what works for you. Whether it’s an evening bath ritual, afternoon meditation, or just spending time reading before bed.
One of my favorite self-care mentors is Cheryl Richardson. She literally wrote the book on The Art of Extreme Self Care. Her blog has many good posts to find inspiration.
The biggest mindset shift is to believe that you can make it in your creative business.
You can do this!
And you can do this in a supportive and community-building way that will help your business grow.
If you can make it… You can make it!