Last year, we marked the fifth anniversary of the start of the economic recession, which began in December 2007. The many losses attributable to the Great Recession, included 8 million jobs, 146,000 businesses and 17.5 percent in average individual earnings.
And yet, amid all this upheaval, many businesses not only survived but thrived. According to Donna Every, a novelist and business writer, “The entrepreneurs who are successful during times of uncertainty are so because they don’t rely on the standard approaches they’d use in predictable times, and they look for opportunities—the positives—in situations that would have been considered negatives five years ago.”
Every explains that a business climate is like the weather: When things are unpredictable, we need to be prepared with both warm- and cold-weather gear. In business, when things are unpredictable, we must be prepared to adopt new perspectives and practices.
So, which strategies can you use to thrive during uncertain times? Here, Every outlines some practices you can adopt to survive a volatile business climate:
1. Build on the present, not the wished-for future. Instead of setting goals and gathering the resources necessary to achieve them, see what’s already available and begin with that. This will save you the time and expense of acquiring resources you may not currently have while also giving you the opportunity to build on your existing strengths.
2. Do as they do in Las Vegas. Visitors to Vegas will often designate the amount of money they are willing to lose on cards or the slots. During volatile times, business owners should do the same. Rather than shooting for the moon, as you might in prosperous times, seek out opportunities that require a smaller capital investment. Determine how much you can afford to lose in a worst-case scenario.