Fix This Next is needed even more now than ever to avoid falling into the entrepreneurial survival trap. As the world moves through this pandemic, it is my goal to be of service. Families and businesses are entering a changing economy and for many small to medium sized businesses it may no longer be a question of how to thrive in business, but rather how to survive in business. It’s time to get lean and “scrappy”. Here’s my advice…

 

The changing economy and the entrepreneurial survival trap

One thing I know, is that the changing economy is going to drastically change the way we do business over the coming months. It’s already happening. Markets are quickly plummeting. Consumers are much more aware of their spending. Retailers have closed their doors. Businesses are facing huge losses in revenue.

It’s a time when many will start to panic. They start making irrational, short-sighted decisions. The ideas they pursue aren’t aligned with their business goals. They’re actually taking entrepreneurs further away from where they actually want to go.

So what does a smart entrepreneur do instead? The savvy business owner zigs when everyone else zags. Differentiate yourself from the herd of business owners who are going to fall prey to the quicksand of the entrepreneurial survival trap.

 

What happens when you’re in the entrepreneurial survival trap?

If a business that finds itself in the entrepreneurial survival trap, has been putting themselves at risk by:

  • Letting their spending get out of control
  • Operating with unhealthy profit margins that keep them “scraping by” even in good economic times
  • Avoiding putting away cash reserves
  • Bloating up their operations with products and services that aren’t significantly contributing to the profitability of the company (leaching the profitability away from other good products)
  • Carelessly operating with their head in the sand, instead of continuing to market and promote their business while times were “good”

then the economic downturn is going to put these businesses in a precarious situation. They’re vulnerable and exposed and may now feel like a deer staring in the headlights of an oncoming car – unable to move. And depending on the severity of the looming recession, many small businesses will be forced to close their doors.

Reframe the situation

But what if we reframe this situation. Instead of burying our head in the sand drowning in anxiety during this changing economy, what if we can find the opportunity to turn things around in your business for good? This is an incredible wake-up call and I hope you’re hearing it.

This is your chance to think differently about how you’ve been running your business. It’s your chance to turn your business from vulnerable and exposed to lean and strong. This changing economy can be your greatest opportunity.

 

Show up as a leader to sidestep the entrepreneurial survival trap

Here are some ways you can start to rethink how you show up as a leader of a profitable, thriving business and avoid the dreaded entrepreneurial survival trap. It’s all about maximizing your existing resources, eliminating waste, and getting smart about your performance:

  • Gain clarity on your spending – cut out all expenses that do not directly add value to your business
  • Do you have enough leads coming in regularly to support the sales process?
  • Look at your team performance – are your employees empowered working effectively together? Are they meeting their performance markers?
  • Look at lynchpin redundancy – do you have cross-training systems in place and documented processes so that you can easily get team members up to speed in case of emergency?
  • Evaluate your systems – streamline your key processes to make things run as smoothly and efficiently as possible
  • Gain clarity on your numbers – make sure you gather data and track your key metrics to help you make better, more strategic decisions
  • Be radical about what you commit to – any projects that aren’t essential to improve your profitability or increase revenue should at least temporarily be put on hold or reassessed to see if they still make sense in the current economic environment
  • Look at your team performance – are your employees empowered working effectively together? Are they meeting their performance markers?

These are just some of the areas you can look at in your business to be more lean and strong, especially when consumers and businesses are all going to be cracking down on their spending.

 

Thriving Instead of Surviving During This Changing Economy

If you want to not only survive but actually thrive when the economy is retracting, it’s absolutely imperative that you address these concerns and optimize them as much as possible.

It’s time to take a brief pause instead of reacting – remember, random reactions are what puts entrepreneurs in the survival trap. Instead, take a brief pause to better understand what your business needs from you and take focused, deliberate action.

I always used to joke that talking to potential clients about their business’ systems and efficiency was hard, because it wasn’t as “sexy” as some other things. But this is where rubber truly meets the road and where the a-players differentiate themselves from the b-players in the marketplace.

It’s also not too late to get started with these fixes. In fact, if you start now, by identifying the vital needs in your business, you’ll be much better positioned to weather the storm ahead and come out as a leader in your industry.

What I predict you’ll find when you identify your vital need, is that while your business may have been operating at the “Order” or “Impact” level before this pandemic, that under the quickly changing economic environment, where revenue is quickly declining, that your business is now operating at the Sales or Profit level. And this requires you to be strategic about where you shift your focus.

In a Forbes article published in September 2019, they write: “Often times when a recession happens, businesses, fearful of declining revenue, begin to cut back in various areas, including their ad spending.” And this is exactly what I’m referring to when I write about businesses getting stuck in the entrepreneurial survival trap. They start taking actions that actually DON’T support their business goals. As they now operate at the Sales level of the Fix This Next Business Hierarchy of Needs, investing in maintaining their advertising to ensure they have sufficient leads coming in is exactly what they should keep doing.

 

Fix This Next Support Services

This winter I recently certified as a Fix This Next business advisor. As one of only 20 hand-picked certified founding coaches in the world you might say that helping businesses work through this process is my jam. And I’m here to support you. Take this opportunity to seal the cracks in your business foundation (cash generating activities and systems)

When you address these areas you’ll come out of this stronger than ever. And the best part is, when you do and the economy recovers and people and businesses are spending again like crazy, you’ll be so well positioned to explode your profitable growth because your business will be such a lean and well oiled machine.

I have a special free resource for you. It’s the ebook version of Fix This Next – a digital excerpt of the upcoming release and as a certified advisor, I have special access to it for my community. If you’d like a copy, download it below.