Navigating an uncertain economy
As a business owner, navigating through uncertain economic times can be challenging and overwhelming. But during times like this, it's important to remember that you have already weathered many storms and proven your resilience. In this episode, I’m sharing some tools, tactics, and strategies to help you thrive in the current economic climate, not just survive.
One crucial thing to understand is that money is still circulating. Yes, buyers are becoming more discerning in their investments but this is not the time to panic or bury your head in the sand. On the contrary, we as business owners can take this as an opportunity to really dig in and do the work necessary to adapt and thrive.
In this episode, I talk about the importance of getting smart with your money but also making sure that you don’t scrap important investments that support and drive your business growth. Be intentional about where you cut costs.
While avoiding marketing during uncertain times may be tempting, it’s important to remember that many successful businesses have flourished in challenging economic conditions. I talk about aligning your messaging and marketing to the current needs and problems of your ideal clients. This is where it’s important to get out there and really pay attention to what is going on.
Now is also a really crucial time to review your business strategy. Relying on outdated tactics and strategies won’t cut it. I talk about why it’s important to take the time to conduct a strategic review, considering the current state of your market and the impact of changes on your business. This will help you understand if your messaging is still relevant or if your offerings need to be adjusted to meet the needs of the market.
A solid mindset is foundational to business success at the best of times and even more so now. In this conversation, I encourage you to focus on solutions and opportunities rather than problems and let go of areas that aren’t within your control. We might not be able to control the global economy, but we can take care of ourselves and make sure we are surrounded by supportive communities to help us thrive, not just survive.
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[00:00:00] Kristy: Whilst we're in a soft market right now, we're not officially in a recession, there's still money circulating. With that said, though, buyers are being more discerning around where and how they invest their cash. Having started my first business off the back of the 2008 GFC and having worked in organizations That have had to navigate through tough markets. I can assure you, you can run a business in a tougher economy. This is not the time to throw your hands in the air and bury your head in the sand though.
[00:00:34] to the contrary. This is the time to dig in and do the work But I know you can do this if I know anything about you. In fact, it's that you are a resilient business owner. You my friend, have had to weather many storms over the past few years and navigate challenging waters. You've had to adapt and allow your business to change form, and dare I say it, to pivot. In this conversation I wanted to share with you some tools, tactics, and strategies to help you navigate this new season, that and more coming up.
[00:01:12] Are you ready? Let's go. Hello, boss and welcome back to the podcast. I'm looking forward to exploring with you how to optimize your business for the current economic climate. I know that you may be feeling a little bit tentative around what to do next in your business, and I also know that you might be feeling a little bit uncertain Or maybe worried about what lies ahead. Before I dive in, I wanna say you are strong. If you started your business in the past five years, as I said in the intro, you've had to duck and weave and forge a path in, let's face it, some of the most uncertain terrain that the world has faced in modern time.
[00:02:30] And that is something you should be proud of. You are still standing strong, so with knowing that you've already navigated so many challenges, know that this is another hurdle for you to overcome. My hope for you is that you don't just survive, but you thrive in spite of it. In this conversation, I suggest that you have a pen and paper handy, or if you are on the run, make sure that your notes app has a new page open, there's going to be things that we talk about here that you are going to want to dig in a little bit deeper.
[00:03:06] Let's get into the goods. Okay, so my first. Port of call is to get smart with your money. If you are not across your numbers, now is the time to lean in and do so. I'm not an accountant, so I will definitely not be offering financial advice here. I know my lane, and there are plenty of great podcasts out there to support you in this area.
[00:03:32] I am looking at you, Beck Buchanan, who is the podcast host of course, of straight up small business. If you don't follow Beck, go and check out that podcast. She has so much great content to support you with this side of your business. and also if you need an experienced and empathetic accountant who offers tailored financial advisory, then shoot me across a message and I will refer you onto someone.
[00:03:56] So I know my lane, as I said, and I'm gonna stick to it. However, I do believe that business decisions tie around your money as well, and there are many smart things that you can do to reduce your expenses, but I want you to keep something in mind. Be very careful of scrapping investments that actually support and drive your business growth, be it your marketing, serving clients strategic support, like coaching.
[00:04:28] I know you're gonna think, Hey, Kristy, of course you're gonna say that, but trust me, in climates like this, you need to have the right people and the right structure in place to support you. Having a coach in your corner is going to help you to make sound business decisions that's really going to help you move forward rather than getting stuck in reactive decisions or maybe in fear-based decisions that can hinder your growth or worse.
[00:04:57] So be very careful about not scrapping out things that are going to help you to grow your business, to get you in front of your clients, to help you to bolster and weather this storm. And as I said, instead of thriving, surviving, Look at it this way. As I said at the top of the episode, I want you to thrive through this period as a human.
[00:05:20] In order for you to survive, you need food and water. an air, they're the basics, right? But also, in order for you to thrive, you need to be exercising. You need to be looking after yourself. You need to be doing things that bring you joy. If you strip out. Everything beyond air, water, and food.
[00:05:37] You're not going to be thriving in your life. And it's the same in business. If you strip out all of the investments in your marketing and into your business, then you can find yourself either just pedaling water or worse. So my tip to you is to get really intentional about where you cut your costs as well as where you are investing in your business during this time.
[00:06:01] As I said earlier, if you are struggling to manage the basics of your numbers in your business and you really need to understand your financial position, definitely seek professional support in this area. and if you are across it, be very careful about where you are taking investment from your business.
[00:06:20] So tip number two is to review and update your business strategy. This is such an important thing You cannot rinse and repeat in a challenging time. There are so many tactics and strategies that generally stopped working in 2023 because they've been exhausted from the years prior, and I think that many consumers are becoming aware and astute to these tactics.
[00:06:44] But beyond that, when you're in a challenging economic climate, things. Invariably change, and therefore you need to go back and look at your business strategy and make changes that align to the current market conditions. Now, it's really important when you're looking at your business that you don't just drop everything at a whim. Whilst pivoting is absolutely necessary, it's important that it's always done in a considered way. Can you move fast? Absolutely. But you need to take time first to look at your business strategically and really understand what's happening.
[00:07:24] If you move too quickly and make the wrong call, what could end up happening Is that you could end up damaging your brand in the process. I would suggest taking time to do a strategic review, looking at the current state of your market and understanding how things have changed and the impact of those changes to your business.
[00:07:45] Is it that you are getting less leads? Are you getting less inquiries? Are you getting less feedback from your marketing initiatives? Do you think your customers are spending less? Are your customers spending differently? perhaps even that your customers are spending more?I'm looking at you now. Taylor Swift.
[00:08:08] Maybe it's simply that what you are selling is no longer resonating Through taking time to reflect, you can begin to understand what changes need to take place in your business. For example, is your messaging tone deaf, And I'm gonna talk about messaging a little more in a moment.
[00:08:28] Do you need to add in a new service offering to meet the market where it's at? Do you need to make some structural changes to your existing offers? Do you need to look at the way your clients pay payment plans, pricing, et cetera? When it comes to pricing, though, a word of caution, please don't just throw out discounts on your pricing.
[00:08:50] It's not a silver bullet. Discounting and sales absolutely have its place. so, please don't think that I'm saying don't do this. But you need to be smart and intentional around what this looks like and how you're delivering it, because you don't wanna create damage to your brand in the process.
[00:09:07] Do you need to be more strategic about your offer portfolio and the price points in which you're offering? Also, these things don't need to be permanent. What can you introduce that might fall under the umbrella of more of a strategic pivot? So maybe something that's offered for a limited time or something that is temporary That can be removed later if needed. Again, this is not just about throwing spaghetti at the wall, but rather listening, first, clarifying, and then being really intentional about what you are putting down so that you don't confuse your audience. If in doubt, keep coming back to the golden rules of being a customer-centric business.
[00:09:50] You're not just selling products, programs, and services. You are solving problems, and it's important to know What problems is your client currently experiencing through this period? Get really clear on what that is.
[00:10:04] So from a business strategy perspective, you wanna review your business, look at how it's performing in this current climate, get around your metrics and your data points. Understand what's happening at the moment, and then look at what needs to be changed to support what is currently happening with the economy. Bearing in mind always to filter this through your client's lens.
[00:10:32] Okay, the third place to look in your business when we are thinking about the current economy is to reset your marketing. You might want to avoid marketing in this. Climate. and in fact it might feel overwhelmingly noisy right now. But I wanna remind you that many great businesses have flourished through tough times. And in fact, in my recent conversation with Shae CLO and episode one 14, she mentioned that it was through the most difficult times of covid.
[00:11:06] When she built her personal brand. So rather than retreat, once you get out your business strategy, align your messaging and your marketing to that get yourself out there in front of your ideal client. Don't be afraid of that. Now, I touched a little bit on messaging in the previous point, but what's really important is that you align your current messaging to where your ideal client is at right now. So, And this might mean that you need to tweak your language a little bit so that it's more topical and relevant, as I said, to the client's problems and what they're currently experiencing.
[00:11:48] This is going to require you to get in there and be listening and paying attention to what is going on. If you sit in your silo of what you've always done and it doesn't quite work in this current economic situation, you could end up harming your results and your brand. So it's really important that you make sure that your messaging is still relevant.
[00:12:14] This doesn't mean that you throw the baby out with the bath water. It's simply that you are ensuring that you are meeting your client where you are at. That's simply good marketing. But again, I wanna remind you, you can't assume anything. You can't assume that your ideal client isn't spending, and therefore you need to hide and ride out in the back room.
[00:12:36] That's not what we wanna do here. We wanna shine, we wanna continue to be a leader. We wanna continue to have our voice heard And come at your marketing from a place of service. What can you offer your ideal client that they really need to know, hear, and experience from your brand right now?
[00:12:54] This is a great time to revisit your client journey, revisit your sales journey, consider where your ideal client is looking to have their problem solved. Perhaps that's shifted in this current economic climate. Start to understand what changes you need to make in your marketing strategy that can best support your ideal clients through this time.
[00:13:19] And as I said before, if you have introduced some new offers, get really clear on how you're gonna clarify that messaging.
[00:13:28] One thing I wanna say though, when it comes to marketing is we can get scared and spooked in a tough market. but please, I urge you to avoid reverse engineering someone else's marketing strategy. And what I mean by that is you see posts or you see, content or copy on online and you think, that sounds great.
[00:13:53] I'm going to try and replicate that for my brand. As I said before, I think buyers and consumers are more astute than ever before and they know when it's not yours. That's the first point. And the second point is you don't know what else is going on in the background that takes their buyer on their client journey.
[00:14:17] You can't possibly know how those offers aligned that messaging, So this all begins with buttoning up your business strategy first, and then you can effectively create your marketing strategy from there. Please don't try and do it the other way because your message won't land. All right. Moving on to the final tip or the final point that I wanna discuss today when it comes to navigating your business through a tough economic climate.
[00:14:45] Hold strong to your positive mindset Now, don't you? Now I know that you're gonna think, oh yeah, that's obvious, but there's a few things that I think is really important to discuss when it comes to running your business in this time.
[00:14:58] Firstly, When you feel good, you better positioned to roll up your sleeves and get creative and do the work you need to do. To move forward, which in some cases it can be tricky work, it can be hard work, it can be messy work, and it can feel deeply uncertain.
[00:15:17] And I wanna honor that. Many business owners might be feeling really burnt out right now, and that might feel challenging in and of itself. But this is where you need to support yourself more than ever. You need to look after your mindset. You need to look after your wellbeing more than ever because if you are gonna do the work that you need to do to thrive in this climate, then all of those other things, they need to be sorted.
[00:15:48] And this is the work that I do with my clients. I not only help them to build their business strategy. I'm also helping them to instate better boundaries to work on their mindset so that they don't get caught in burnout or that they can move through burnout. Okay, so back to mindset. I wanna remind you of what I said at the top of the episode.
[00:16:13] Money is still circulating in the economy. if you feel defeated and that. It can't work. Then all you are gonna see is problems. All you're gonna see is dead ends. All you're gonna see is what's not working. However, if you really focus on lifting up your mindset and being positive, what you'll see.
[00:16:43] Solutions. What you'll see is opportunities when things don't go right, you'll take the lessons and you'll try again rather than getting stuck in failure, I'm a failure and all the narratives that come with that.
[00:16:59] The other thing is, is that when your mindset is really positive, it allows you to show up. It gives you confidence to show up. You see those opportunities everywhere, in the same way as when you are looking to buy a new car. So when we're looking to buy a new car last year, all I could see was that car everywhere.
[00:17:20] Suddenly, it's like all over the road and perhaps that that particular car brand is a growing brand, of course, but it's the same with anything. If you start to look for something, you, you'll see it everywhere. So are you looking for opportunities? Are you looking for solutions or are you looking for problems?
[00:17:39] Why your brain for success, that's not the only thing you can do. You obviously need to take action and all those things, but trust me, this is the starting point, which is ironic because this is the last point, but this is the one that I really wanted to bring home
[00:17:57] and again, Many great businesses have been born out of a recession. Many great businesses have been born outta challenging times. Many great businesses have grown in challenging times that didn't before. So there is so much opportunity for your business to flourish
[00:18:16] Two more tools that I wanna wrap up with when it comes to mindset that I think is really important. If you find yourself getting locked on fear, worry. Ask yourself, is this in my control? And if it isn't, that's what you need to let go of, all right? Because you can't control the economy. You can't control, people's behavior. You can't control what other business owners do. You can't control what's happening on the internet. You can't control any of those things. But what can you control?
[00:18:50] What are the things that you can do? They can actually make a difference. and I've discussed so many things here in this episode. There's so much that's still in your control, and yet we feel like we are a result of what's happening around us, and it's not actually the case.
[00:19:06] secondly, your mindset has to be protected. Be mindful of who's in your sphere and who you take guidance from. That can be what you're consuming online. That can be who's in your network and telling you. Know their thoughts and feelings. It could even be loved ones. Now more than ever is the time to curate who's in your community.
[00:19:33] Lots of things to think about that I've discussed here. but if you would like my support to do the deeper work, then I'd love you to learn more about my private coaching programs. Firstly, the six month Business accelerator program is a full fortnightly container where we will transform your business model for growth.
[00:20:01] This is a high touch program to help you structure your business. For this next season, we're gonna reset your vision, mission, and values, we're going to untangle all those ideas and the things that you are thinking about will reset your goals.
[00:20:19] Along with building your business strategy to support these goals and the current market conditions throughout the six months, we'll work together to restructure your business operationally so that it frees up your time to enjoy your life To create more space and capacity for the people that you love. You did not start your business to work 60 hour weeks, or if you're looking for more one-off support. I also have a 90 minute coaching intensive Where we will work through an opportunity you wish to explore or maybe a specific challenge that your business is encountering.
[00:21:02] Perhaps in this episode I uncovered for you something that you want to dig deeper into. So that's the purpose of this program is to unpack. What's going on in your business? One specific thing and to clarify what actions need to be put in place to achieve that goal or work through that problem.
[00:21:24] If either of these speak to you, , head over to kristy robinson.com au or check out the links in the show notes to learn more, and of course, apply today. This boss has been such a big episode. So a quick recap of where to focus your energy on in this challenging economic climate. The first thing is to get smart with your money. Yes, 100%. You wanna economize and take out expenses that you no longer need or use, but do not strip out important growth generating investments. Number two, review and update your business strategy. before you make any changes in your business, you wanna get really clear on what's going on, what you are looking to achieve, and how you can best support your ideal client through this time. Number three, reset your marketing. This happens after the business strategy.
[00:22:26] Make sure that your messaging is in alignment and that you're definitely serving your community in an appropriate way through this time. And number four, hold a strong and positive mindset. Your mindset is what's really going to set you apart and what's going to govern and inform your actions through this time.
[00:22:47] I really hope this conversation has supported you. It can feel really isolating and scary, navigating difficult circumstances in your business. As I always say, it's about taking what you've heard here and putting it into action. Don't roll on into the next thing in your day.
[00:23:04] Stop. Take a few minutes, capture what took your attention and explore it further. Thank you so much for joining me for today's conversation. As always, I look forward to chatting with you next week. This episode has been recorded on the land of Callen Darbin. I pay tribute and respect to the Turbo Nation, who are the traditional owners and caretakers of the land in which this podcast is recorded.
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About your host, Kristy
Hi, I'm Kristy, thank you for tuning in to the Run Your Business Like a Boss Podcast. My purpose for the podcast is to help Business Owner’s in the growth stage of business (messy middle) have a sustainable business, they love.
I’m an online business coach, based in Brisbane, Australia. I provide 1:1 business coaching, to Service Based Online Business Owner's and a group coaching program commencing in 2022. I believe whole heartedly that having a Business Coach is what gives you the competitive edge. As your coach I support you to overcome challenges quickly, uncover blindspots and make business decisions with confidence and clarity. All of which keeps you moving forward and maintaining momentum.
As your Business Coach, my role is to help you organise and formulate your ideas, turn them into a goal and then into an actionable plan! All while meeting you where you're at and providing you relevant tools and support along the way.
Thank you for tuning in to the Run Your Business Like A Boss podcast!