4 Steps to Thrive During Uncertain Times » Small Business Bonfire

Every business owner loves when the economy is thriving because they are more likely to perform better. As long as the business model is relatively healthy, the opportunity for success in every business is limitless. Unfortunately, downturns in the economy happen every so often and businesses must be prepared to weather the storm otherwise everything could be lost. Regardless of which industry you are in, every business is affected when an economic downturn occurs. Luckily, there are certain things every business owner can do to mitigate economic risks and keep the business open or even thriving during uncertain times.

1. Create Digital Products/Services

It’s no secret the digital economy is thriving and is going to do so for the foreseeable future. By moving products online, your business is much more likely to succeed because you aren’t limited to local customers. Take for an example a business that sells handcrafted wooden chairs. Undoubtedly, customers who walk through the doors to view the chairs are going to see the great quality first-hand. This doesn’t mean you are only limited to customers who walk through the door.

Set up an online store and give people around the world the opportunity to purchase your chairs. You can easily list all the great features, show photos of the exact chair you are selling, and even write a short story about the crafting process for a particular chair. You can essentially sell the chair in a way that caters to people who would want to purchase chairs online. Don’t worry, creating online stores in 2020 is incredibly easy with the many tools and tutorials showing you how to do so. Additionally, it is really cheap to create an online based store and in the end you are setting yourself up for success.

Starting a business is incredibly difficult and only 9/10 are successful. Of those that are successful, only a small portion haven’t integrated to the online marketplace. If you want to be successful and minimize your risk during uncertain times, you need to integrate online too.

2. Build Community Trust

People really love to hear great stories, especially during uncertain times, and when your business is at the center of a great story you will build community trust and increase the likelihood of people coming to your business. Donate to homeless shelters, sponsor an event for charity, and do things that are beneficial for your local community. Even during recessions and pandemics, we can all do good things and support people who really need it.

Building community trust is really great PR as well because if you do good, your local newspaper company is willing to write about it. Restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic are a really great example of building community trust. Some restaurants have imposed guidelines to space apart seating in a safe manner so people aren’t close to each other. While this reduces the total capacity of the restaurant, people feel safe to eat there and give the restaurant a lot of praise for keeping them safe.

The restaurants that have initiated an effort to keep people safe are building trust within the community by saying “I am sacrificing business to keep you safe.” People are very receptive to this and word will spread quick. In the long-term, you will undoubtedly have gained patrons who respect your business.

3. Make Employees Happy

Employees are an integral part of business and ensuring they are happy can make all the difference between failure and success, especially during uncertain times. Happy employees are willing to go above and beyond to help the business out. They don’t mind if you can’t give them a bonus during tough times, they just want to see the business succeed.

First thing first, always treat people with respect. So many managers and bosses fail to understand this concept and they lose good workers. Give employees praise when they deserve it, even small compliments can go a long way. Provide responsibility and trust employees to make decisions that can take your business to the next level.

Another great thing to bond with employees and make them happy is to do frequent team activities. Go out to dinner or simply just have a casual work meeting every so often. Even companies who operate online are finding time to video chat and bond, even if it’s just for a short time.

4. Keep Calm and Stay Positive

The best thing you can do for your business during uncertain times is to stay positive and take care of yourself. Find a nice balance in life, eat healthy, and exercise. Having a healthy mindset will ensure you can go day-in and day-out operating your business successfully.

Yes, money will be tighter and you will have to make tough decisions to stay in business. Just think of all the positives and those decisions will be much easier. Difficult economic times aren’t easy for anybody, but maintaining a healthy mindset and balance in life make difficult times easier to deal with.

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