What an interesting year so far to say the least. With the coronavirus pandemic going on across the world, it has been challenging for everyone, each in different ways, and especially for small businesses. Many businesses have had to temporarily close or adapt to find different ways to stay afloat by managing their sales funnels differently, but most of them still see a steep decrease in their revenue.

We define a crisis by ” a time of intense difficulty, trouble or danger”. I would say, we are in a crisis, and now more than ever, businesses need to navigate these hard times to the best of their ability.
In this blog, I will be sharing what I think are the 4 best ways to go through any hard times or crisis. I believe these 4 skills are must-haves within an organization.

1. Adaptability
First, let’s talk about adaptability. What is it? I define adaptability as someone or something that has the capability to alter itself as per a change in need, circumstance, or environment.

I would say that from this definition, a business or a business owner must be adaptable in order to survive and thrive. As we all know, our environment, political or economic, and customer’s needs are constantly changing and evolving. A business must not only sell a service or a product, it must sell a service or a product that fits a customer’s need(s)…Hopefully that is not a shocking news to you.

Therefore, if you are in business, you must be an adaptable person and have an adaptable business because if you do not possess that trait, how will you be capable of providing a relevant and relatable product or service on the long-term, as per the forever evolving customer’s needs? This being said, we are all on different level of adaptability and there are ways for you and for your business to be more adaptable.

You must be keeping informed on news and trends. It is important to be aware of what is going on in the world, in your country, and at least in your local area about politics, economics, business trends, customers trends, etc.  The more informed you are, the more proactive you can be, and the more relevant you are.

You might also want to investigate all the areas of your business, mostly your sales funnels, and assess where you could adapt, modify, improve. Do not forget, you may want to increase/diversify your sales funnels, but you want to do it successfully. There is no point of having multiple unsuccessful sales funnels.

Once, you have assessed where you could adapt in your business, you may want to innovate…which brings us to our next point.

2. Innovation
What’s innovation? It is creating or developing a new idea, product, or concept no one has before. Not everyone is, if you are, that’s awesome, if you aren’t, wipe your tears, you’ll be just fine!

In times like these, or in any time your business is going through a crisis, you might want to innovate. What brought you into the circumstances you are in now? Is it internal or external factors? Is there something you can do, or nothing you can do! I bet there is something you can do.

You can’t do the same thing over and over again and expect different results!

This being said, I suggest you analyze and understand what brought you into this crisis and what makes you vulnerable to it. Do you only offer one service/product? Is there a competitor having a better offer? Are the margins on your offer too small? Based on the answers you will find, you might realize there is potential in coming up with a new product, or a new way of doing business.

For example, can you create an online sales funnel? Can you do deliveries? Can you do pick-up orders? Can you offer a by-product? Can you improve your service/product? Can you create a collaboration with another business?

Innovation is great, but sometimes there is also no need to reinvent the wheel. This brings us to our next point…Being connected!

3. Being connected
Entrepreneurship can be a difficult, challenging, and lonely endeavour at times. It is really important to be surrounded with supporting people, and the right people. I was once told by my mentor at the time that you are the sum of the 5 people you surround yourself with the most. It hit me like a ton of bricks, it is shockingly true! I am a strong advocate of surrounding yourself with people who elevate you, who bring you happiness and support.
To surround yourself with some other entrepreneurs is a great assess as you can share experiences and exchange on topics you relate. It helps to break the feeling of isolation you may feel at times. Look for associations, Facebook groups, your local chamber of commerce, etc.

Additionally to moral support, to stay connected with other entrepreneurs and business owners is a great way to be aware of what other successful businesses are doing, what works, what doesn’t work, how they are adapting to challenging times, etc. This can only really be useful during this pandemic, and in any other times of crisis.

By exchanging with other, you might get a brilliant idea out of a brainstorming session, or you might read or hear about an idea, product, or concept that you could adapt to your business as well. Like I said, sometimes innovation is brilliant, and other times you do not need to reinvent the wheel, just find something that you could adapt to your business and that could bring value to your clientele and bring value to your offer.

4. Having the proper mindset
Lastly, as I am sure you heard, Mindset is key!
I know it sounds cliché but having a positive mindset is everything. Being positive is not always smiling and being a happy-go-lucky, it is also to know that in darker times, there is some positive out there. You just got to find it, and remember that these darker times will past. It is okay to feel defeated at times, but you gotta get yourself back up…even more cliché, I know!

Hopelessness is your enemy. Be careful what you feed your mind. Negative thoughts and negative sayings can only build a downspiral where motivation, happiness and hope goes down the drain.  As a business owner, your brain is your best asset. You need to be a visionary, lead and help your business thrive. Meditate, listen to podcasts, take a day (or two) completely off, visualize your end goal daily, etc. Take the time to recharge the batteries and to realign your mindset with your goals and your vision whenever needed.

In times like these, your clients, your team, and the world needs positivity.

Your biggest takeaway here should be to be adaptable, capable of change, staying connected, surrounding yourself with the right people and to stand guard at the doors of your brain!

If you need any more help or advice regarding how to navigate crisis and how to diversify your offer, contact info@avenue-consulting.ca or call 587-575-5332 for a free consultation.