Launching a small business during a crisis

How entrepreneurs thrive during tough times

small businesses during coronavirus
small businesses during coronavirus
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

Can you grow a business during economic turbulence?

I think a better question might be, do you want someone else to be in control of your success during turbulent times? Do you trust that someone else will have your best interest in mind when the world seems to be falling apart? Or do you think that your knowledge, skills, and desire to succeed can flourish even in tough times? Can you stand apart and hold on to see it through?

You can go your own way

I have a current client who wanted me to work in-house. I said that I couldn’t, and CEO-CEO we worked out an agreement for me to consult and still meet his marketing and communications needs. It was a win-win and seemed like no concession on either end at the time. When the coronavirus spread, businesses closed, and the landscape changed, he considered pay cuts for his salaried staff. As a consultant, changes in my rate include a change in time but also the ability to work with other clients to make up the difference if needed.

Things change during unprecedented times…but you can set the precedent.

via giphy

Netflix

Twenty years ago, Netflix almost got bought out by Blockbuster (ironic, I know). Blockbuster pulled out of the deal, and Netflix tweaked its offering from direct mailing DVDs to streaming on-demand. Not only did they capture the market, but they also reinvented the way we watch movies and shows. In a twist of fate, the company that was going to buy out Netflix no longer exists and Netflix continues to rise. You can be the last one standing if you stay the course and pivot when necessary.

Airbnb

During the 2008 recession, Airbnb took an idea to rent out air mattresses in their high-priced San Francisco area. This concept expanded to helping people both make money and find nicer digs that were more price-friendly than some hotels (and with more space!). This unique way of thinking caught VC eyes and then grew very quickly. Despite a rough economic climate, their solution helped both owners and people looking to travel. An idea to make a few extra bucks revolutionized travel trends.

WhatsApp

Founded in 2009, this tech startup launched towards the end of the 2008 recession. The company is now owned by Facebook, but the founder was rejected for a job there before launching his own company. Irony is great in entrepreneurship. Can you imagine being rejected for a job, so you build a product that said company ends up buying for billions of dollars?

Apple

We all know Apple. The company was around for decades but in the middle of the dot-com crash, it rebranded and doubled down on innovation — the iPod. The music player and iTunes would become instant hits and pave the way for continued products such as the iPhone and iPad. The company went from its worst recorded losses to being a leading brand.

MarCom consultant. George Washington University alum. Pittsburgh raised. lorencribbs.com

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