by Andrew Milbourn, CEO of Kiss The Fish
If you haven’t yet experienced that awful middle of the night tension, where you can’t sleep because your business or job is under threat from a serious downturn, then you are a very lucky and rare person in this day and age.
My business lost 75% of it’s turnover back in April of 2020 and it wasn’t a very nice feeling, particularly when it looked as if the politicians weren’t going to offer much support to business owners or the self employed.
So – if you identify with this and maybe are still worried about the future, what can you do? I don’t claim to be any kind of ‘future-ist’ or “super entrepreneur” but I have been mentored by some clever people and been blessed with a ‘must do’ – ‘can do’ attitude which has served me well. Here is what I’ve learned recently that, as a business owner, has helped me through bad times.
1 – You can only change what you have control over
There is no point wasting energy or tears on the bad things that you can’t control. Don’t dwell on your misery or allow self pity to take hold because there are plenty of people out there who are a lot worse off than you.
2 – This will pass
When things are difficult or emotionally painful remember that you will come through this a better person and be able to enjoy so much more about life.
3 – Adopt a “problem solving approach”
By that I mean, problems have to be solved and all challenges faced up to rather than burying your head in the sand and hoping they will go away because it’s likely that they won’t. You will be amazed at what a journey of growth you begin and can continue. It won’t be anything like you expected but you will end up in a better place, even if some of the solutions take longer than you’d like and are painful at the time.
4 – Don’t be a perfectionist
In times of difficulty, fast movement and determined decision making are essential. You can’t worry about getting everything right, as long as you are moving and moving fast (being agile) then you will survive and thrive.
5 – Don’t fear failure
Just learn fast and don’t repeat yourself.
6 – Be resilient and get some grit
When you don’t succeed with your first attempt, just get back up (you may need to do this 100 times) and go again, and again and again.
7 – Ask for help
Seek the wisdom of those you trust and share your feelings with; you’ll be amazed at the care and support others will give you.
8 – Start your personal journey of finding your personal “why”?
If you haven’t already done this then re-visit Simon Sinek’s famous piece and start exploring why you get up in the morning. It needs to go beyond ‘to earn money’ because that should be an inevitable consequence of the work you do and not the main reason. Happiness comes from within and it is only possible when relationships are meaningful and your value is reciprocal to the outside world. If you don’t believe me then study ‘Social Anthropology’.
9 – Be an innovator
This is a skill that successful entrepreneur’s share so in the Pandemic you may need to consider what you can and should change to meet the needs of your market as they shift and change too.
Look at your business from three angles:
1) Who are your customers? (segment them by all demographics and be curious)
2) Look at the things you buy to make your product (raw materials, other services etc.).
3) Look at the process’s that you are good at that enable you to sell what you do.
When you’ve made the three lists now look at the gaps where all three don’t meet – those are your low cost innovation opportunities.
10 – Look at which Markets and Businesses have grown
As a result of us all being at home in the last 12 months take a look at who has grown since before. I put a post out on LinkedIn asking people their opinions on which businesses and markets have grown and this is the result – the list is quite impressive. Look for those that you haven’t sold to before and put them into your lead funnel – we can help you with this, just reach out to us on the link at the end. There are 27 separate types of business on this list which represent literally 000’s of individual businesses for you to sell to and reclaim that lost ground.