Entrepreneurship in this economy.

Layoffs in the news; we’re in a recession or one is coming; rising interest rates; housing bubble; inflation – these headlines are never ending.

Whether or not any of these hold merit is up for debate, but one thing is for sure, these topics and their endless discussion have a definite effect on one’s confidence, one’s outlook, one’s peace of mind, which in the end does the greatest damage to the entrepreneur.

An entrepreneur is a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.

Risk is defined as the potential for loss or the exposure to chance of injury or loss.

Initiative is defined as the ability to assess and initiate things independently.

Entrepreneurs and small business owners are always looking into the future, assessing and monitoring risks to their business and devising strategies to overcome them.  To concern oneself with such is beyond challenging, and frankly, the incorrect estimation of what it will take to overcome these is the reason that businesses fail.

Add to this challenge, mainstream and social media’s unrelenting messaging of how bad everything is and you greatly intensify the entrepreneur’s level of stress and uncertainty.

When confronted with situations like this, I believe it is best to identify what it is that you can control.  Clearly, monetary policy, housing prices, inflation and recessions are out of my control, but I can control my actions, mindset, skills and attitude.

When looking to address any issue in business, I believe that the underlying principles need to be understood prior to the application of the methods designed to remedy the situation.

Principles over methods – principles are the fundamental rules or foundations concerning a topic. The principles explain what you should be doing or what should be done about it. Methods, on the other hand, are merely the actions taken to apply those principles in a particular circumstance.

These are the core principles for starting, growing and expanding a business regardless of all the noise that is going on in the media and coming from the people in your environment:

  • Go out into the marketplace
  • Make and build relationships
  • Increase visibility in the marketplace
  • Get people to know me
  • Get people to talk about me
  • Get people to do business with me
  • Get people to call me
  • Get people to send me business

With these principles understood, any method that we put into place simply needs to embrace and forward these principles.  If it doesn’t, then it needs to be set aside.  If it does and works, then it needs to be strengthened and done over and over until the results are no longer there.

Looking over the above principles, I would say that the 1st one, “Go out into the marketplace”, if followed consistently over a long period of time, would eventually encompass all those that follow.  

Going out into the marketplace can be as simple as going to an industry conference, setting up a booth to promote your products or services.  It could be calling on the local businesses in your area or reaching them broadly by placing cold calls to introduce your company or leveraging business relationships to get an introduction to the stakeholders in a particular company.  It could also be as simple as showing up at a networking meeting, introducing yourself and your company.  Lastly, you could post to social media such as Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn.

These actions, done consistently, over an extended period of time, will begin to bring you and your company out of obscurity and others will begin to do business with you, refer you business, call you and will even talk about you in the marketplace.

Under these circumstances, your brand is building and gaining traction, there is a new level of activity in the office, you and your employees are gaining confidence, revenues are growing, excitement about you and your company is growing and most, most, most importantly, your certainty about the future has grown stronger than the uncertainty that all the messaging channels around you are pushing.

Pick the things that you can control, control them, continue to control them and no bad news or economic conditions can bring you down.

You are an unstoppable force, go out in the marketplace and get what is yours!