Take Action Now to Protect Your Business From a Recession With These 4 Strategies
News of slowing revenue growth and layoffs in almost every sector currently dominate the headlines in all the places we consume media. Coupled with the inverted yield curve we saw in November, typically a harbinger of a global recession, it's no wonder we feel stressed. What can we do in a looming recession as entrepreneurs and business owners? How do we protect our companies and limit the fallout from a global economic downturn?
I unwittingly founded my marketing agency in 2008 during the Great Recession, not understanding how serious and prolonged the recession would become and its effects on the entire world economy. Thankfully, my business lived through that turbulence, emerging on the other side with more clients and revenue than one would have expected. Now on the cusp of an economic downturn that feels eerily familiar, I want to see ambitious women entrepreneurs learn how not only to endure but also flourish during the potential next recession.
Why? Because everything everywhere is telling business owners and entrepreneurs to pause, pull back, shore up and play safe right now. I want to give you permission to do the opposite. Despite your natural inclination to hesitate, it's time to implement these measures right now: Take action before the recession has even been declared.
Beyond scrutinizing your budget and cutting non-essential spending to ensure you have working capital during the potentially lean times, here are the top four tips I used to help my business grow during the last recession.
1. I made networking a priority
Making regular connections helps keep your business top of mind, no matter the economic conditions. Most of us have heard the saying, your net worth is in your network. Cultivating mutually beneficial relationships with clients and other business owners is a great way to keep a steady flow of prospects for your services.
There are numerous ways you can network in person and online, including connecting with customers and prospects on social media (yes, you can even slide into DMs) and attending industry events and conferences to meet potential customers and partners.
Additionally, you can join professional organizations related to your industry or target market. You can even reach out to influencers in your industry or target market and ask for their advice or feedback on your products or services and connect with other businesses in your local area that could be potential partners or referral sources.
2. I doubled down on my content marketing efforts
Content marketing is an excellent way to reach your target customers and build relationships with them. If done effectively, content marketing can increase brand awareness, generate leads, and drive sales. If you're looking to double down on content marketing for your business as I did, here are some tips to get started:
3. I ensured my business had multiple income streams
As a business owner, if you're solely relying on a single income stream, you must take the time to diversify. Multiple income streams are critical to creating a thriving business, as it helps diversify your revenue sources, reduce risk and increase potential profits.
Easy ways to create multiple income streams include: offering complementary services or products, building digital products like courses, affiliate marketing, selling advertising space, creating subscription-based services, speaking and offering consulting services. You want to find additional ways to monetize your business IP so that you can diversify your offerings, ensuring you have a steady stream of revenue.
4. I acquired new business skills to enhance my services.
This is the moment to invest in your professional development. Acquiring new skills that can enhance your customers' experience will allow you to reap an astronomical ROI, especially once the economic downturn ends. For example, as we're all learning and leaning into all things Web3, what skills could you learn to help your customers in that space? Other professional development skills and training to consider:
I took many other steps during the last recession to ensure my business succeeded, but these were the actions that garnered the most return. As business owners, we are always searching for ways to grow revenue and a loyal, excited customer base. The central tenet of all of my actions was how to better serve my customers.
Staying customer-centric is critical, focusing on providing excellent customer service in each and every interaction. Customers who feel valued and appreciated are more likely to return and recommend your business to others during an economic recession or boom. Leveraging these tips will help you and your business emerge with more advanced skills and resources, ultimately helping you stay ahead of the competition.
Image Credit: Shutterstock
As parents and educators, we all want our adolescents to succeed. We want them to grow into confident, capable and resilient adults who can overcome challenges and achieve their goals. Nurturing an entrepreneurial mindset and skill set in adolescents is highly important, even if they don't have aspirations to become business owners or entrepreneurs. Here are some ways you can encourage adolescent growth:
1. Develop a growth mindset
Developing a growth mindset is critical to adolescent growth and success. Adolescents who believe their abilities can be developed through hard work and dedication tend to perform better than those who believe their abilities are fixed. Encouraging a growth mindset requires a shift from focusing on innate abilities to valuing effort and resilience. Praising effort over innate ability can help reinforce this shift in mindset.
For example, when a teenager tries to learn a new skill or complete a challenging task, it's essential to acknowledge and praise their hard work. When faced with setbacks or failure, it's important to teach adolescents that these experiences are opportunities to learn and grow. Emphasizing the importance of persistence and resilience can help adolescents develop the skills and mindset needed to overcome challenges and achieve their goals. Encouraging a growth mindset in adolescents can help them develop confidence in their ability to learn and grow, setting them on a path to long-term success.
2. Encourage independence
Adolescents need opportunities to make decisions and take responsibility for their actions, which helps them build confidence and decision-making skills. As a parent or guardian, it's essential to encourage your teenager to take on tasks and projects that challenge them and allow them to make decisions on their own. Providing them with age-appropriate responsibilities, such as managing their schedule, completing household chores or organizing a community service project, can help them develop the skills needed to be self-sufficient and independent.
While it may be tempting to micromanage or take over tasks to ensure they are done correctly, resisting this urge and giving adolescents the space they need to learn and grow is essential. This will help them develop a sense of ownership and responsibility, which can lead to increased motivation and achievement. Encouraging independence in adolescents can be a delicate balance between offering guidance and support while also giving them the space to make their own decisions and learn from their mistakes.
3. Provide mentorship
Mentorship and guidance from adults/professionals with experience in areas your adolescent is interested in can be one of the fastest ways for them to learn. Encourage them to seek out mentors in their field of interest, and provide them with access to resources and opportunities that can help them grow and develop. Help them find local networking events, and attend with them. Take an interest in what they're doing, and share their excitement for their passions.
4. Resilience is key
Life is full of ups and downs, and adolescents need to learn how to bounce back from setbacks and challenges. Encourage them to focus on their strengths and accomplishments rather than dwelling on their mistakes or shortcomings. Help them develop a growth mindset, where they view challenges and failures as opportunities to learn and grow rather than as a reflection of their abilities. Praising their effort and hard work, rather than their innate abilities, can also help foster a growth mindset.
It's important to note that building resilience is an ongoing process that takes time and effort. Adolescents may struggle with setbacks and challenges, but with your guidance and support, they can learn to cope and bounce back stronger than ever. Encourage them to be patient with themselves and to focus on their progress rather than perfection. If your teen is struggling with confidence, there is nothing wrong with enrolling them in an individual teen therapy program to gain expert help. By teaching coping strategies and promoting a positive mindset, you can help your teenager develop resilience and thrive in all areas of their life.
5. Encourage entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurship is an excellent way to foster adolescent growth and success. Encourage adolescents to explore their entrepreneurial interests by providing access to resources and opportunities such as business plan competitions, internships and mentorship programs. Instill creativity, and harness the four pillars for raising an entrepreneurial child.
6. Teach financial literacy
Financial literacy is critical to life and personal success. Teach adolescents how to manage their finances, including budgeting, saving and investing. This can help them make informed financial decisions in the future.
Encouraging adolescent growth and success requires a multifaceted approach considering personal and professional development. By fostering a growth mindset, encouraging independence, promoting creativity, providing mentorship, promoting resilience, encouraging entrepreneurship and teaching financial literacy, we can help adolescents reach their full potential and achieve success in life.
Image Credit: Hero Images/ Getty Images
The Odds Are Still Stacked Against Women in Business. Here's How Young Women Can Defy Them.
As a millennial woman founder, I know firsthand the obstacles that women encounter in the corporate world. Although there has been some progress over the past eight years, the representation of women, particularly women of color, is still lacking. According to McKinsey & Co, only 1 in 4 C-suite leaders are women, which is a staggering statistic. However, the situation is even more alarming for women of color, as only 1 in 20 hold a senior leadership position.
I started my first business at age 16, and now, at age 26, I am running a seven-figure fintech consultancy. But my success hasn't come without its fair share of challenges. Like many young women in the corporate world, I have faced bias, skepticism and a lack of representation. That's why it's more important than ever for young women to have strategies to overcome these obstacles and succeed in the corporate world.
Here are some key strategies to break through the barriers and achieve our goals.
1. Build your network
Building a strong network is absolutely essential for success in the corporate world. As a young woman in this industry, connecting with other women and allies who can provide support and guidance is especially important. Here are some ways to build your network:
2. Develop your skills
In the corporate world, it's important to constantly develop and refine your skills. This is particularly true for young women who may be starting out in their careers and seeking to prove themselves. By investing in your own growth and development, you'll be better positioned to take on new challenges and succeed in your career. Here are some ways to develop your skills:
It's easy to feel like you have to work twice as hard to prove yourself in the corporate world. But investing in your own growth and development is one way to give yourself an edge and position yourself for success. Remember, you're capable of achieving great things — it's just a matter of putting in the time and effort to develop your skills and knowledge.
3. Speak up and advocate for yourself
In the corporate world, it's important to be your own advocate. This can be particularly challenging for young women who may be hesitant to speak up or self-promote. However, speaking up for yourself and advocating for your ideas and contributions is essential for getting ahead in your career.
Early in my career, this was one of the biggest challenges I faced. I remember sitting in meetings where I had great ideas, but I was too afraid to share them for fear of being dismissed or ignored. It took me some time to realize that if I wanted to make an impact and be successful, I needed to have confidence in my ideas and the value I brought to the table.
One way to start advocating for yourself is to be proactive in sharing your accomplishments and contributions. Don't be afraid to speak up in meetings or presentations and share your ideas and insights. Look for opportunities to take on new responsibilities and demonstrate your value to your team and organization.
Another important aspect of advocating for yourself is setting boundaries and speaking up when you feel uncomfortable or unsupported. I remember a time when I was working on a project with a colleague who was constantly interrupting me and talking over me in meetings. It was frustrating and demoralizing, but I didn't know how to address the situation. It wasn't until I spoke up, set boundaries and was able to establish a more respectful working relationship.
Remember, advocating for yourself doesn't mean being aggressive or confrontational. It's about having confidence in your ideas and contributions, setting boundaries and speaking up when you need to.
As young women in the corporate world, we face a unique set of challenges. But with the right mindset, strategies and support, we can overcome these obstacles and achieve success in our careers.
Remember, you have the power to shape your own career path. By developing your skills, speaking up for yourself and seeking out mentorship and support, you can navigate the corporate world with confidence and purpose.
In the end, what matters most is staying true to yourself and your values. Be authentic, be resilient and never stop pursuing your goals and dreams. With hard work, dedication, and a supportive network, there's nothing you can't achieve. So go out there, break down those barriers and show the world what you're capable of!
Image Credit: Hannah Busing
Over the last year, business leaders have continued to face highly unpredictable social and economic environments and 2023 will be similar in many regards. It is expected that the competitive talent landscape, employee burnout, and return-to-office policies will continue to evolve as leaders seek to control costs, meet customer needs, and establish renewed growth as part of business recovery.
Across every market industry, small- to large-scale business leaders must focus on organizational intentionality to ensure all internal and external processes are running effectively and efficiently for the overall operational success of the company.
This article will give organizational practices and tools that business leaders can, and should, implement in 2023.
1. Reapproach Your Business Model
Having a solid business model is the first step to having effective operational and managerial processes that will deliver repetitive value and growth. Smart companies not only know that such is necessary during the initial stages of business growth, but also that it is important when considering a business expansion or supporting unexpected pivots in the economic market.
While true examples of business model innovation are often limited to market giants, such as Apple or Walmart, a previous IBM survey found that more than 50% of executive leaders see business model innovation as essential to see a product or service succeed.
This is not only true for new business ventures, it is also important for already well-established businesses seeking to transform their organization and operational best practices. In such a case, conducting a SWOT analysis is a great first step to identifying where gaps and missing elements exist in your current business model. From there, you can determine if your business model still has a strong customer value proposition, profit formula, and the best resources and processes to align customer and business needs.
2. Secure Your Financial Future
Having the right technical tools and applications in your business toolbox is essential for managing and simplifying daily operations. You depend on tools to track projects, meet your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) needs, or collaborate with teams. You equally do your best to stay financially in tune with your business with the use of e-Commerce management software, accounting software, and online payment tools.
But what about software to track your business’s equity?
Today, more businesses are experiencing the need to actively own their assets and future financial growth. Leaders that have chosen to adopt cap table management software, such as Astrella, are able to see a detailed picture of your business’ potential portfolio growth and make better-informed decisions.
Effective financial software that provides a well-organized, real-time cap table document is key for effectively managing all of your financial exchanges and transactions in a single space. As a growing company, you are looking to support investor relationships or manage employee stocks, while having everything in one place to record financial data to determine future financial decisions.
3. Reinvent Your Talent Acquisition Methods
Even before the pandemic, businesses have leveraged the idea of expanding and diversifying their talent pipelines to deliver more excellent strategic value to their operations. While traditional talent sourcing methods have worked well in the past, we are now seeing more companies struggling to find top talent to meet their unique organizational needs. This has largely been the result of employees looking to find more unconventional career paths for businesses that are willing to provide the work-life balance that so many have craved.
Such is why it is becoming increasingly necessary for businesses to re-approach and reinvent their current talent acquisition methods. By identifying talent acquisition strategies to attract and retain a power team, leaders can take the company’s mission, objectives, and customer service to the next level.
In 2023, hiring managers need to become more effective at assessing which candidates have the right skills for a position, rather than focusing only on their prior experience and list of credentials. Instead, expand your talent reach by searching internally and externally for candidates with nontraditional backgrounds, who could bring unexpected value and innovation. While a candidate may have the necessary experience and formal education requirements for a position, other types of candidates can equally be appropriate for the role.
4. Focus on Organizational DEI Initiatives
Improving your organizational practices also means transforming the employee experience for greater performance outcomes and a positive morale boost. This especially includes leaning into new ideas that will drive your Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives in 2023.
According to Gartner, over 42% of employees believe that their company’s DEI efforts are discordant. Leaders with limited DEI initiatives witness reduced workforce engagement, inclusion, and trust in their workforce.
To combat this, it is important to provide leaders with the right strategic tools that create a welcoming, non-disruptive work environment. This can include reapproaching communication and training efforts that encourage visibility and allyship. Some organizations, like Paradigm Strategy Inc., offer DEI consulting to various organizations and businesses to help design impactful systems and processes for their workforce.
Impactful Processes for 2023 and Beyond
Moving forward, business leaders should be implementing practices that are intentional and have the capacity to establish new organizational growth. The operational success of organizations is dependent on the main cornerstones that drive daily workflows and productivity. So placing additional focus on key business sectors is important to identify new opportunities in 2023.
Image Credit: Getty Images
Membership is open to businesses and organizations interested in increasing visibility and brand awareness in Westchester County and surrounding areas.