BOOTSTRAP WITH FRANK CIANCIULLI: Doing more with less during an economic downturn

By February 24, 2021Wish Group

How do you do more with less? It’s a question many countries are grappling with right now, as they frantically race to secure and distribute a Covid-19 vaccine, all while charting a course for economic recovery post-pandemic.

Coincidentally, it’s the same question you, a business owner/entrepreneur, should be asking yourself. When things are going well, it is human nature to become complacent or gravitate towards excess – spending more on events, executing more extravagant marketing campaigns and buying larger office space, to name a few. It’s a recipe for losing perspective.

More, more, more. But what if you pivoted and did more with less?

Obviously, during an economic downturn you need to be mindful of your business practices and be a little more frugal with your wallet. But there is still so much that can be done right now to remain afloat, while keeping an eye out for the future.

Based on my personal experience, here are three of the biggest lessons you can learn during an economic downturn.

  1. Find a happy balance. Tightening the reigns and getting leaner doesn’t mean your business needs to get meaner. With less at your disposal, you will need to find creative solutions that minimize excess and maintain productivity. But be careful – cutting back too far could lead to burning out quicker and festering unwanted resentment within your team. It’s all about striking that delicate balance so you can keep your business growing into the future.
  2. Distinguish yourself. In times like these, your clients and prospective leads will be less willing to spend. There’s nothing you can do about this. What you can do is keep yourself in the conversation, even when you’re not selling. Distinguish yourself now by being authentic and generating goodwill in the community through thought leadership, discounts, free trails and even favourable payment methods. When the world gets back to normal, people will remember these “little” gestures and reward you.
  3. Embrace the challenge. Adversity is never fun, but it’s the challenges that we face in life that build character and give us that edge. Same thing goes for businesses. When you’re hit with challenges, embrace them and double down on your organizational strengths. Put the mettle of your business to the test. This is a proven mentality. Many legendary businesses, from Microsoft to Netflix, found success when they launched during economic downturns. The lessons they learned are encoded into their DNA, allowing them to weather any storm. Heck, the Wish Group was launched in the recession of 2008. The lessons we learned during those days never left us and continue to inform everything we do.

If you’re a current or aspiring entrepreneur with questions and concerns about navigating this economic downturn (or any other topic for that matter), I want to hear from you. Get in touch with me at bootstrap@wishgroup.ca.

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