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As a media relations consultant, I’ve been pitching reporters many articles about the effects of inflation. Inflation and increasing prices are issues on everyone’s mind, impacting everyone. Undoubtedly, now is the time to watch where every penny goes — entrepreneur or not.
It’s not just inflation; we’re all experiencing a new and strange reality where there’s a pull to do more, buy more and play more. This desire is coupled with a depressing price increase and tragedies we see daily abroad and in our communities.
However, as an owner, you’re tasked with looking beyond the anxiety-ridden details and are assigned to look for opportunities. Whenever there’s a significant change in your industry, it’s time to read the situation for what it is — a massive opportunity for growth and redirection.
Build a new model
Lately, I’ve been attracted to a quote by Buckminster Fuller, “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
Now is the time to make the change. Use that “do more” energy to fuel positive change and build a new model. Whether you’ve been in business a while or are part of “The Great Resignation” and are looking to start a new business, take a minute to think about your goals and priorities.
The first step is to look at your finances. Is there anything you can trim or eliminate from your finances? Are all the resources you have used towards improving your business? If not, it’s time to let them go.
But don’t forget, reducing expenses is not the strongest and only reaction to change. Getting new income is. Find the balance between cutting costs and keeping what you need to succeed.
The same is true for your operations. Do you have machinery, supplies — even an office — that you’re paying for and not getting anything out of? You have permission to cut those operations now.
Start thinking big when you’ve got your internal operations where you want them. Are you really where you want to be? What needs to change to achieve your goals?
Making changes create unexpected improvements
When we asked ourselves these questions, my company decided to revamp our brand messaging and refine our new business targets. Some we did on our own, and some we hired out because we were too close to the story and wanted to stay objective.
Our changes weren’t huge, but they made a big difference. We simplified our website and online brand aesthetic so we could quickly create more engaging content. Before the change, we had to do a lot of background work to have everything match and line up with our marketing materials.
We were bogged down by updating an old website that wasn’t playing to our strengths, so we changed it. We kept the pages and content that we needed and dumped the rest. We now have a logo, color palette and messages that are easy to use in simple situations.
Our changes allowed us to expedite our work, break up bottlenecks and keep pushing out thoughtful content. Our changes surprised us and improved our perception while communicating to our market who we truly were and what kinds of people we help.
Utilize outside help and resources
During this time, we as owners need outside help. With some encouragement and coaching, we can create a new narrative. Not only will outside help clear up who we are to our clientele, but it will make it easier for us to tell a story. Maintaining authenticity was essential to me while I made changes, so I kept that in mind when making any decision, even if it involved outside help.
It’s essential to develop a narrative, make sure it is accurate and that your company consistently embodies it in every decision. For us, that meant more personal marketing. It could be something else for you, but it is crucial to figure out your narrative.
Most importantly, assess what’s in the way of you getting what you ultimately want. This is very much in line with being authentic, but it takes a good bit of self-awareness. If you need help with this one, get a good coach.
Business owners, especially more established ones, can get very set in their ways. Seeing obstacles can be difficult if you arent looking for them. The path forward will be much more straightforward if you can get out of the rut of thinking you don’t need to make changes.
If you are nervous about the future, follow these guidelines to feel more adept at handling whatever it throws at you. Be alert and be ready to take advantage of every change that comes your way.