Keeping Your Business Afloat During Economic Downturns
Running a business has its ups and downs at the best of times, but during an economic downturn, the challenge becomes all the more pressing. Not only do you have your own livelihood and that of your company to worry about, but you also take your employees’ well-being into your hands. With such high stakes, it’s crucial that you find ways to keep your business afloat, no matter the state of the economy. Take, for example, the height of the COVID-19 pandemic recently. Businesses struggled, understandably, as did countless people worldwide, and yet, the companies that are slowly managing to pull through are those that could stay above water, even if that was just a doggy paddle.
Thoroughly understand your market.
It’s a key concept of business generally, to understand your market as much as humanly possible. You create avatars and user profiles for your ideal client and you take time to know who your customers are and where to find them. However, in times of crisis, you truly need to understand how your audience operates, more than ever. At the worst of times, where do your customers turn? What is it they’re looking for? If you were a supplement manufacturer at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, for instance, you might have turned your attention to immunity-boosting supplements, or those that combat stress and anxiety, even if these weren’t necessarily your go-to niches before the crisis. You recognize that your customers are stressed and afraid of getting sick. The same principle can apply to just about any industry; consider your audience, what they need from you, and how you can become their go-to brand for that need.
Optimize your leadership.
It’s no secret that your business will only thrive if they’re backed by strong leadership. This is more true than ever when a crisis like an economic downturn is afoot. From Suzanne Clark with the United States Chamber of Commerce to the leaders of small companies around the world, these business executives have found ways to adapt to whatever the market throws at them. If you’re that person, figure out how to go about emulating the most inspiring people in your field. If you’re hiring that person, look for someone who reminds you of those same role models
Connect with your employees Economic Downturns.
Just like you have to understand your customers in order to make it through the economic downturns, you need to understand the people who work for you. Remember that these are individual human beings as well. When your customers are struggling, there’s a good chance they are, too. Find ways to support your team, be it economically, physically, mentally, or otherwise, and make sure you’re prioritizing their needs, not just those of the company. These ultimately coincide—your company can’t thrive if your employees aren’t. So, remember that taking the time and effort to care for your employees is truly taking care of your business.
Be prepared to pivot Economic Downturns.
Like a supplement company switching to immunity-boosting or stress-busting vitamins, businesses often need to pivot their market offerings in light of a crisis. In the example of COVID-19, that was small businesses beginning to produce masks and other PPE. In an economic downturn, that might be a budget-friendly offering that compares to your normal top seller. Of course, this will depend largely on what your company is and how you choose to run it. But at the end of the day, you need to be prepared for such a change to occur.
An economic downturn is daunting, no matter where you are in the corporate world or if you’re there at all. However, being prepared can make the monsters seem a lot less scary. Be prepared to tackle a crisis like this by knowing what you would do and how you would do it to the best of your ability, and be prepared to be flexible with what you can’t foresee.
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