How to grow a business in difficult times

Over the last few years, more than 1 out of 5 small businesses have consistently failed in their first year because growing your business in uncertain times can be one of the most tasking part of a business journey.

As you go about navigating through doubts, business difficulties and unpredictable economic situations, not only are you completely unsure of the next steps to take, sometimes, you become completely oblivious of your next possible best shot.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a blogger, a content creator, freelancer or just an entrepreneur, while going through uncertain times you feel lost on what to do.

With biting economic slowdown sweeping across both developed and developing countries, coupled with uncertain economic projections, things get pretty worse, leading entrepreneurs to ask questions about how to really survive and thrive through uncertainties.

In the following paragraphs, you’ll learn the 9 step business resilience strategy to power through difficult times, build resilience and grow your business through uncertainties.

Embrace Change

One thing about growth is change. Change accompanies growth all the time.

If you really want to grow your small business in uncertain times then you must accept the fact that whether you plan for it or not, a lot will always have to change along the way.

You may not know exactly what is going to happen but you have to be willing to embrace change right from your mind and then work on taking realistic risks that will help you scale through.

Naturally most of the risks you’ll have to take will seem really daunting. But you will have to take some of them by all means.

So, before taking these risks, you want to be sure you’re doing the right thing. You want to think it through and measure it alongside your goals before settling for the most realistic ones.

Remember part of embracing change also involves changing your mindset about certain things concerning your business.

For example, if you were not really convinced you can ever make as much progress with your business online you need to start changing your mind towards that and begin to look at the possibility of what you can do online.

Analyze your Prospects

Find out, what exactly are the variables you can control? What are the other ones you can’t really control?

For example, it’s possible you cannot control your government’s economic direction and other external mechanisms that’s causing disruptions in the system. At most you can only worry about these things.

On the other hand, you can control to a large extent, your choice of product and or services, the unit price for each of these, the effort you put in promoting the business, and the value you deliver to clients.

Instead of spending time worrying about the uncontrollable variables, in order to grow your business in uncertain times, switch to focus on these other variables you can control and then find your ways to use them to serve you.

Adjust your Goals

Now that you’ve embraced the sudden change that is going to affect your business, holding onto your initial goals and expected outcomes that were set before now could be suicidal.

So, to grow your business in uncertain times in this case, you must adjust your goals to meet up with the current realities. to grow your business through uncertain times, you need to set up new target and goals.

Begin to find out the things that’s now possible for you, with the current development.

Also, out of these possibilities before you, find out the most important ones and then work on how to get this through as part of your business goals.

If the most realistic thing for you to do online at the moment is to create an avenue to make more sales instead of publicity then work on this efficiently.

Whatever your goal is all about, be sure you set new and realistic goals that are now in line with your new realities.

Review your Existing System

To grow your business in uncertain times, at some point, you need to take a step back and take a look at your existing business plans, business models and systems. Find out, can these really sustain you with the current realities on ground?

Again, Find out; being faced with these current realities, what are the possible areas you can change or adjust to create a better outcome for both you and your clients?

As soon as you can figure this, the next thing is to work on using the available data to adjust your mode of operation or create a new system that will help you to achieve your goals in line with the new realities.

Create realistic Plans

After adjusting your goals, you need a realistic plan on how to achieve each and everyone of these goals.

So, what’s the plan for you?

Assuming your foremost goal is to make a million dollars sales this year, how do you plan to arrive at that goal with all the uncertainties on ground?

To grow your business in uncertain times, you must ask yourself, what must I do to arrive at these outcomes? What are the things I want to do to arrive at this outcome?

If it’s about making more sales calls for example, how many times will you have to make sales calls to get the number of clients that will buy from you so you can arrive at this figure?

You need to have a clear knowledge of this and then write it down.

If your goal is to get an X amount of traffic to your blog at the end of the year for instance, your plans should cover the number of times you’ll post, promote, share your posts etc.

Steps to build a business in difficult times
To build resilience, adjust your goals to meet with your current realities | Image credits: Pexels

It should cover everything you will do to achieve that goal in as much details as possible.

Remember, it might not be possible for you to have an exact idea of how you are going to achieve your goals.

Sometimes more ideas will get to you as you get started on achieving the goals itself.

With this in mind, you have to keep your plans as flexible as possible. And add up realistic ideas whenever they show up.

Start with the Easiest Steps

If you want to keep the momentum that will help you achieve more and grow your business, you have to start with the easiest step or goal.

Forget about starting with your most difficult goals. That might be unrealistic. And if you fail to achieve the first goal, it might affect your morale and ability to achieve the others.

You need to chunk down your goals into easily achievable feats, based on your own reality.

Forget about what other people are doing or saying. Your own reality is different. And if you really want to grow your business in uncertain times, you have to set achievable goals and then work your way to achievement, starting with the easiest.

Do not get things mixed up because you want to achieve so much. Work with what you know you can really achieve within a set time frame.

You can always set more goals as the journey progresses.

Review your Expenses

As you continue to review your priorities, you also have to evaluate your expenditure as a business.

Considering that with the current realities, the things that matter to you before now will most likely not be as important as they were some months from now.

You need to put this into perspectives and then work on re-prioritizing your expenses.

For example, if one of your most important expenses before now was spending on advertising on physical newspapers and magazines, with the current situation to cut cost and make the most of your money you will have to re-prioritize the channels and expenses that matters most to you.

Same thing applies with all other areas of your business. To grow your business in uncertain times, you don’t have any business spending on expenses that do not yield decent returns on investment.

You want to allocate your energy and resources to areas that will get you the best outcomes.

Be Authentic

In the online world, there’s much need for authenticity.

People want to know you for who you are, trust your brand and your ability to deliver on the services you claim before they can listen to you.

So, if you want to grow your business in difficult times, you want to be more authentic, honest and real with your clients.

If you’re a small or micro business or a business growing in an area with very little trust in online businesses you have a lot on your hands.

Beyond wanting to make your clients trust you, show them you have the capacity to deliver on their needs. It’s very important.

Utilize social proof. Show off your testimonials. And be willing to go out of your way to make a client to trust you.

Also, always remember that whatever you’re building is not just about the current business difficult times…

The more clients you get to believe in your business, the more your chances at getting these clients to link you up with more clients, through word of mouth.

Innovate for Growth

Innovate, find out better ways to do things that will drive growth for your business. For example, if you’re an offline business, find ways to reach online clients.

If you really want to grow your business in uncertain times, you want to embrace the uncertainty itself.

Instead of waiting for days that you will have more offline customers, find out, ways you can reach a different kind of clients, online and elsewhere.

If you’re already an online business, evolve mechanism to make it easier for clients to work with you. For example, can you create a memorable experience for them through a chat bot, real live chats, video calls or zoom meetings?

Find out ways to deliver far more value to your client than your competition is doing.

Of course it might look difficult getting around this but, if churches could provide remarkable online church services as an alternative to physical services throughout the lock down, you can get something close.

While this might not make up for a real physical business meeting, focus on creating an alternative experience that is suitable.

Show Commitment

Get committed. It can be really daunting staying through to build your business in difficult times but if there’s anything you need right now, it’s a sense of commitment to what you’re doing.

You need to be committed to your business and hustle. And beyond staying committed, you must be willing to fail and still keep your head up high through it all.

The fact the world is going through uncertain times does not mean there’s completely no hope for you.

There’s a lot of hope. But if you must grow your business in uncertain times, you have to match your hopes with your actions, discipline and a complete believe in your ability to scale through and achieve your goals.

You have to be willing to survive through. And survive you will when you show commitment.

Final Words

In conclusion, after taking all these steps to grow your business through turbulent times, be open to allowing yourself to make mistakes, grow through the process and gather your lessons.

A lot of entrepreneurs are scared of making mistakes and for that reason they hardly take risks. This is not ideal for growth.

There’s going to be days you’ll make some decisions and afterwards you feel like you’ve really made mistakes. On those days, you don’t have to write off yourself.

Remember that mistakes are part of the growth process. And then learn through the ones you can and move on. But, never ever give up on your self or the things you believe in because you feel the future is uncertain.

Pull through it. Keep the drive. Invest in learning, re-learning and never quitting out of fear. Reach out to us for support. With this you will not only grow your business in difficult times, you will thrive.

Now, it’s over to you! What’s your biggest challenges when it comes to building a business through uncertain times? Drop your comments below.

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    Victor Winners

    Victor Winners

    A Nigerian trained Law graduate and British LL.M candidate, using his widespread experience in tech, law and innovation, to evolve cutting edge and growth driven solutions for brands and businesses in Africa and beyond.As a Law-trained tech expert, Victor brings in over 7 years experience working in the Digital Marketing, SEO, Web Development, Online Publishing, Social Media and Legaltech sectors, to create result driven content and innovative solutions to brands and businesses.Named as one of the top 50 Web Design Influencers Globally, Victor Winners started one of Africa's most widely read blogs on Digital Marketing and Strategy.With this platform, he has impacted the lives of over 2 million readers spanning more than 135 countries in 8+ years

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