If you turn on the news, it’s easy to feel like doomsday has arrived. News anchors are talking about the recession and how gas and food prices and interest rates have skyrocketed. When presented with this information, it may feel tempting to shift into a poverty mindset — staying home, not spending money, laying off employees and preparing for the worst. Of course, concerns about the economy and the state of the world are valid. But it’s important to also recognize that there are many businesses who are thriving during the recession. These businesses are owned by people who keep advertising and spending money to make money. In turn, these are the businesses that don’t have to lay off their staff.
I didn’t lay off a single employee during the pandemic. Instead, we stayed the course, and it paid off. We just had to pivot, get creative and keep selling our products because there was business to be had, we just had to find it.
So many companies got scared, laid off their staff and waited for doomsday to run its course during the pandemic. This approach, however, was counterproductive. When the world eventually bounced back, it was too late for many business owners. Instead of pivoting, they tried to keep doing business the same way they always had and it didn’t work. They had to shut their doors because no revenue came in during that time. The world was at home but everyone was still spending money, they were just doing it online rather than in stores. This shift is why digital businesses thrived while brick-and-mortar did not.
Now that the pandemic is mostly over, economists have a new worry: the recession. Financial situations like a recession cause people to hold onto their money, but smart entrepreneurs will see it as a massive opportunity.
Though a recession can feel daunting, I’m deciding to double down on D2 rather than hold onto my money. I’m not going to lay off my employees. Instead, I’m going to be strategic about who does what at D2 so we’re maximizing our talent to the fullest. We’re going to be efficient with our time, being careful to not work overtime and build up stress. We’re prioritizing a work-life balance so we can show up to work every day excited to service our clients.
I’m still going to invest in marketing — in fact, I’m actually spending more money on SEO and Google Ad Words than I ever have. I’m producing more videos for SEO optimization to drive traffic to our website, and I launched a TikTok campaign to grow our brand on that platform. I’m investing in a LinkedIn messaging campaign to target high-performing entrepreneurs who are looking for a business coach. All of those initiatives are extra investments that aren’t required of me to run this agency. But I know that during this uncertain time, many people are holding back, which is why I know I have to go all in. The people who go all in are the ones who come out on top.
As I was researching this topic, the only resources about avoiding layoffs I found online were articles discussing cutting expenses, reducing salaries, lowering employee hours and adjusting executives’ pay. No articles talked about the concept of selling more.
You must ask yourself, “What is the biggest problem my clientele are facing during this recession, and how can I use my skills to solve it for them or make their lives easier?”
If you can find a way to alleviate their biggest problems or find a way to improve their lives, these clients will buy from you.
During the 2008 recession, I became an entrepreneur. I launched a website for moms that garnered over 100,000 visits from moms in my area every month. I sold $70,000 in advertising each month because companies were seeking a cheaper alternative to radio, TV and print advertisements. I was filling a need for my advertising clients: I solved their biggest problem by offering online advertising that was cheaper and more engaging than what they were getting with traditional media.
This year, I’ll approach the recession the same way I did in 2008: I’ll pivot and keep selling as much as I can. I plan on selling my coaching program to more clients so they can create personal brands and businesses they care about, allowing them to work the hours they want to work and make the money they need to make. They’ll no longer need to rely on corporate America for their 3% raise while living in constant fear of being laid off. There are no layoffs when you own your own company because you’re playing offense instead of defense. You’re in control of your own business and, in turn, your own life.
My biggest piece of advice to entrepreneurs and business owners right now is to start selling more. What additional products or services can you upsell to the clients you already have? Can you tap into a new market and get new customers during this time? Is there something you can do that no one else is doing that you can charge a premium for?
Remember that to become a diamond, you must go through the fire. You can sit back, retreat and wait to see what happens, or use the pressure and fire to become brilliant. Now is your time.