Original article published by Forbes
Bloomberg Economics predicts a 53% chance that we will find ourselves in a recession this year. With this information in hand, it’s easy to feel powerless and scared as a business owner. The year started out strong for most entrepreneurs and within a couple weeks, we’ve all found ourselves in unfamiliar waters.
I invited former turnaround CEO and 7-figure business owner, Sigrun Gudjonsdottir, to share her five best practical ways to recession-proof your business – because “business as usual” simply won’t cut it during these crazy and unprecedented times.
Sigrun has taught thousands of female entrepreneurs how to build a thriving and sustainable online businesses through her SOMBA program, her masterminds and her podcast “The Sigrun Show.” Here are her top five tips on how to make it through a crisis with your business and possibly even come out stronger on the other side.
1. Go Virtual
“I had to postpone my conference in Iceland this year which felt like a huge setback at first… But then I decided to create a virtual summit instead and take the whole thing online.” Sigrun tells us. There are so many tools that allow you to deliver services and products online, and now is the time to leverage them. Even if you’re selling physical products or providing hands-on services, how you can deliver these online? Could you teach people how to do it themselves? Could you offer online coaching where you show them how they can do it?
“Get creative with the opportunities the online world offers you and keep an open mind,” says Gudjonsdottir.
2. Pivot And Create New Offers
If you think that no one’s buying anything right now, think again. People are looking for support during economically challenging times, but they might not need the exact same product or service they would have bought under regular circumstances. “We created a Bootcamp Weekend to help people recession-proof their business in 48 hours because we saw that people needed to understand how to do this, and how to do it fast,” Sigrun says. Go back to the drawing board and do a thorough brainstorm. Come up with new services and offers that your clients actually need right now. You have to be flexible and adjust to the new circumstances.
3. Adjust Your Existing Offers
Maybe you don’t have to radically change all of your offers, but you can tweak and repurpose existing offers to cater to what your audience needs at this point in time. Can you turn an 8-week program into a week-long intensive? Can you relaunch a product with useful add-ons and extensions? Can you take in-person offers online and go virtual? Or maybe you can open the doors to a program that you’d usually only offer once a year? “The opportunities are endless and your best bet is to listen to what your audience asks for, then adjust previous or existing offers accordingly. That’s how you’ll create a win-win,” advises Gudjonsdottir.
4. Focus On Being Of Service
Whether you’re offering free or paid support, focus on truly being of service. “I started doing daily Facebook lives called ‘Turnaround Talks' to show up for my audience and support them at no cost. We created the Selfmade Fund to offer female entrepreneurs in need financial assistance. We’ve made many paid resources available at no cost and set up free resource-pages for our audience to help get them through their challenges without asking anything in return,” Gudjonsdottir says.
5. Act Fast And Step Up As A Leader
“Time is critical in situations like these. If you want to be seen as a leader, you need to step up and actually lead the way. If we would have waited even one week longer to postpone our conference in Iceland, we would have just been following everybody else. But since we chose to act quickly and made a bold move before most other people did, we demonstrated true leadership and courage, which built more trust and a stronger relationship with our audience in return. And there is nothing more valuable than having loyal clients, especially during uncertain times of crisis and distress,” says Gudjonsdottir. Don’t be afraid to make bold moves, especially when you know it’s the right thing to do for your community.
Get creative, move fast, and be of service. We’ll get through this!