What Can You Be Doing Right Now To Keep Your Business Going

Take it from someone who started a business during the GFC, I know business is challenging right now. I’ve been there. BUT it won’t last forever, and if you still want to be in business in 12 months, you’ll want to hear how to turn this difficult season into a golden opportunity.

Yes, business is challenging but with every challenge comes opportunities, and in this podcast, I focus on how and why business owners should be jumping on those rather than blaming the economy or buying into the media’s doom-and-gloom.

Discover how I’ve shifted my own mindset to seize opportunities and some of the business opportunities waiting for you.

Hey there,
Sal here!

Ready to step up and scale your business…I’ve got you!

LISTEN NOW on The Bringing Business To Retail Podcast

Weathering economic challenges in retail with strategies for success. 0:02

Marketing strategies for businesses during COVID-19. 5:06

Back pain, fear, and decision-making. 11:32

Leveraging economic uncertainty for business growth. 15:23

Salena Knight 0:02
Hey there, and welcome to the bringing business to retail podcast. If you're looking to get more sales, more customers, master your marketing, and ultimately take control of your retail or E commerce business, then you're in the right place. I'm Celina Knight, a retail growth strategist and multi award winning store owner whose superpower is uncovering exactly what your business requires. To move to the next level. I'll provide you with the strategies, the tools, and the insight you need to scale your store. All you need to do is take action, ready to get started?

Salena Knight 0:52
Hey there, and welcome to today's episode of the brainy business to retail podcast, I am so thankful that you are here joining me today. Because right now I know that business is challenging. And it feels like no one is spending. Even though the data, the latest data that's been released shows us that the amount that we're spending pretty much across all of the major countries is up slightly from last year. But everywhere you look, it seems like every brand, every store is constantly on sale. And it doesn't look like there's any relief in sight. So as a business owner, what are you going to do to keep your business going? Now, I'm here to tell you that I have weathered this before I started my retail business at the beginning of the GFC. Now here's the great thing about naivety is you don't know that the world is against you, you don't know that the economic climate is bad. So you just go all in? If I look back, would I have done it again? I don't know. Probably, because I'm always wanting to face the odds. I'm always wanting give things a go and see how it's gonna work out. And I like testing my limits. So the good news is that history shows us that there is always an end to the current economic cycle that we're going through. And even though there are lots of challenges, right now, it might seem like you are fighting to get people to hand over money, you are fighting to get people in your store. I'm not here to tell you that there are also opportunities, the business owners who aren't focused on what's happening in their business, in times like this fall away. Now, I'm not saying that I want any business to close. But for you, that means that if they can't weather this storm, whether they run out of money, or they don't have any strategy in place, then that is less competition for you. And even more opportunities. Now, those businesses that have kind of wind their way through COVID. I find what they're realizing right now is that the luck that they had, where people were just spending, I mean, you could post on social media, you could throw a website up, and you got sales, that luck has dried up. And the fact that they relied on an overinflated market. And they burned through the cash that they had, and never put any of the foundations in place. Well, they're the people who have been slapped in the face with this stark reality that, you know, running a business takes work. Running a business can be hard. Running a business takes strategy. Running a business means you mean a marketing plan. That is not just posting on social media running a business is making sure that your website is always on point, running a business is making sure customers are in the door. All of that stuff they didn't really have to contend with. And maybe you went through that too. Maybe you're an established business and you can't arrive Vered, the COVID wave and you took the money that came in. Things are different now. And you have to understand that you need to meet your customers where they're at. You can't just post on social media anymore and expect that you've got sales, you have to have a strategy. So those people who are the started up in COVID or rode the COVID wave that overinflated market. They've gone from having this great income stream for doing an awful lot. But then the economy has changed and all of a sudden, just having a website or a shopfront isn't enough to keep the money coming in. And so what ends up happening is You're probably finding this, they post more on social media because it is free. And that's what all the Guru's tell you to do. And up until now, that is what works. Now, I'm not dissing social media, I 100% think that it should be part of your marketing strategy. But if you've relied on social media up until now to bring in the sales, and you're finding that you've got less followers, I know there was a big algorithm change recently. If you've got less followers, if you've got less engagement, and less sales, then you can't just keep flogging a dead horse, you have to try new things. You have to build yourself a roadmap, putting in more time and effort, but with no focus, or no goals, and expecting the business to rely on you putting 100% in to move forward, well, that's not going to work anymore. This is one of the reasons that your socials aren't working like they used to. Every day I see 1000s of posts inside Facebook groups, about businesses that are on the verge of going under. And the first question I always ask is, how are you marketing? What are you doing to attract new customers? What are you doing to find people who don't know about you? Or what are you doing to get existing customers to buy that isn't just posting on social media. And the scary part is, nearly every single one of them say that they're just posting on social media, and maybe they're sending emails. So essentially, you're just marketing to the people who already know about you, because you and I both know that getting new people to follow you on socials right now is really, really hard. And the proof is in the pudding. If it's not working, then you can't continue to spend all this time and effort doing something that is not bringing you in a result. Now during COVID Todd Herman, who is his peak performance coach for top athletes and entertainers, he interviewed a bunch of CEOs and the businesses that they were CEOs have ranged from anything between 2 million all the way up to half a billion dollars in revenue. And from that, he found that the CEOs fell into three distinct categories. First up, there were the fear based CEOs. Now, that group was very emotional, and they were most concerned with what was happening and the most overwhelmed. And during their conversations, they would use very negative future pacing words a heck of a lot more than the strategy focused group, which I'm going to get to in a minute. The words that they would use would be things like struggle, or fear, or hard or difficult. Now, the fear focused group was the most negative. They were consuming way too much weight media. And they were focusing a lot on blame, which, when you're doing that, when you're blaming everything else, that clouds your judgment, and it prevents you from seeing the opportunities that might be out there. And it also prevents you from building an action plan to get done. So first up, there was the fear based group. Next, there were the unfocused CEOs. And you know that this is something I talk about a lot is focused. And I know focus is a lot of heart is really, really hard for a lot of people who listen to this podcast. So first up, we had the fear based group and then we have the unfocused CEOs. Now, this group is the one that was still very uncertain on what they were going to do. They were kind of playing that. Let's just wait and see game. And then we'll also the most dismissive about what was happening in the economy and with customers and within the future. So that unfocused group, they had a bit of a skull, a head in the sand way of thinking, and they could have been classified as fear focused CEOs, but they demonstrated some very different traits. Mostly it was in the way that they were talking about finding a plan or getting a plan to move forward. Whereas the fear focus groups were focusing on blame the unfocused CEOs were just kind of crossing their fingers and hoping that things would get better, like little bit confident it maybe we'll get a plan to do this. But that was generally where it stopped that they weren't actually taking action. So fear focused CEOs, unfocused CEOs. And next up the strategy focus CEOs. And this group, as the name would suggest, is the most focused on taking what's given taking was out there and using it, and still being focused on growth and opportunity. Now, like I mentioned earlier with the businesses that are just shutting up shop, the strategy focus groups, they were leaning in way more. They were relying on their networks, they were relying on the people around them. They were focused on solutions rather than blame. And they were overall much more positive. And they felt more secure, then the fear focused CEOs and the unfocused CEOs. And some of this was because they didn't consume a lot of negativity in the media. A lot of it, I think, comes down to the fact that when you have a plan, when you know what you're going to do every single day, when you get up, you're not unfocused, and to me, unfocused is unconfident and confident is that the right word, unfocused means you can't be confident in your decisions because you don't know where you're going. Whereas I think, the focused strategy based CEOs, when you get up every day, and you've got a plan, then it's much easier to be optimistic, especially when you're tracking data, like if you're tracking data, and you can see the numbers are going up or the numbers are going down. You can do more of what's working. And if it's not working, you can change things out. Whereas if you're based on fear and blame, you're probably not even tracking the data. The unfocused groups, the unfocused CEO group, they're not tracking data are they? So last week, my back went into spasm again. And if you listen to the podcast, you'll know that this has happened to me for quite a few years. And six months ago, I had a spinal injection. And it worked. So well, I pretty much thought I was cured. Now, when you get this injection, they give you very clear, very clear indication that it might not work. It might work for two weeks, it might work for two months, it workbook for two years, it might work forever. But there is no guarantee. I however, like to think positively, I thought I was cured. The stress of this happening all over again, I literally just got up from the sofa, my back went into spasm. And I couldn't stand up. And it was on a Saturday night. So the whole Sunday, I couldn't do anything. And I pretty much just had to sit on the sofa with a heat pack on and not move. And so when you are in pain, it is very easy to blame. And it's very easy to fall in that negativity headspace. And so when that happened, it pushed me firmly into that fear focused co group. Because physical pain coupled with uncertainty, of course, that will do that to you. Of course, you're focusing on fear and all of the bad things. And getting a giant needle speed into your spinal column, even though you've done it before, is freaking frightening. Even though I had done it just six months ago, and it there was a little bit of pain, but it wasn't ridiculously painful. And I knew that last time I'd had this great outcome. I was really hesitant to do it again. I mean, it's a giant needle in your spine. If this goes wrong, you may never walk again. I know that that is an infantile, small percentage. But it's still something I had to weigh up. And so I was sitting on the sofa on Sunday, and I knew I had to make a choice. I hadn't had to face my fears, and focus on the opportunity that even though there was no guarantee will work again. But there was still an opportunity that it would and put a plan in place and take action, I needed to move to that strategy focused CEO group, because I could either sit in my misery and pain and blame everything and everyone and say it was all too hard. Or I could do something about it. So I lasted 24 hours I lasted the whole of Sunday in misery and pain and back and forth thing about whether I should get this injection again. Before I moved into that strategy, focus CEO group, I call my doctor, I got the referral and I booked him for the injection in the next possible possible appointment, which was 48 hours. Because here's the thing, if I had done nothing, history has shown me that for at least the next two weeks, I would be in severe pain. I would have to get acupuncture, very, very painful acupuncture to be able to even stand if I was lucky. And my life would start to return back to normal after spending a lot of money and getting these painful acupuncture, needling injections and chiropractic treatments

Salena Knight 14:52
until it happened all over again. Oh, I could formulate that plan. I could take that risk. I could seize the opportunity. If and if I do something, I have got a much better chance of a positive result. Whereas history shows me that if I do nothing, I won't get a positive result. So why am I even sharing this story? Because I have been here before I have been in this economic climate, I have been in this position where interest rates have just risen and risen and risen, and it feels like no one is spending. And I can tell you that this will end. But whether you make it through or not, is up to you. If you are sitting in that fear base CEO camp, the reality is, you're likely not going to survive. If your sales are down, and you think that posting more on social media will help, then what's your plan? If it doesn't, how much longer will you continue to do something that isn't working for you. You can't control the economy. But what you can control is the way that you react in situations like these, you can sit in Facebook groups and whinge about what is happening. Or you can fall down the media vortex of doom and gloom, or you can grab a piece of paper, and you can formulate a plan to try and get through this uncertain period. And you can look for the opportunities. Now, you probably don't realize this, but that inbuilt ability to think differently to take the leap and to start a business. Not everybody has that. Most people are happy to get up every day and go to their job to be told what to do and to come home again. Right now you have an advantage. You don't have to go through 10 levels of management to get a decision. You can be nimble, you can be proactive, you can test and measure and you can make changes in hours and days instead of months and years. So what opportunities are you leveraging, perhaps you've never really thought about buying another business before. Now, that kind of seems counterintuitive, when I'm saying you should be focused on your business. Or maybe you feel like that seems like something that only big businesses do. But like I said, with economic uncertainty comes opportunity, there are going to be a lot of businesses that simply don't take action or haven't taken action. And don't come out the other side. Maybe that's a retail or E commerce business. Or maybe it's a business that has technologies or systems that you would like to fast track. Or it could even be a complementary business or service that would work to help you grow your business. Heck, it could just be a healthy customer database or Facebook group that you would pay to have access to, for a few $1,000, heck, maybe even a few $100, you could find yourself with new stock, new customers, new suppliers, new contacts. So there are opportunities out there. Maybe one of the opportunities that you've got now is to take the time to look at investing in new technology, you know that you probably going to have to if you haven't already cut back in some areas, when it comes to spending, people are quite often the first things to go. And AI is on the cutting edge right now. And it could literally free up days worth of your time, it could even take a whole person out of your business. If you find those choke points in your business, and you see how you could free them up with AI, then maybe this is an opportunity for you to go out and spend the time to do that. Or perhaps there are apps which can be added to your website to increase revenue to increase site speed to increase the customer experience. The upside of uncertain times is they allow you to be innovative, they force you to think outside the box and to develop a better and more efficient business practices as you move your business forward. So if you think that you are sitting in the fear focused or unfocused CEO group, I'm going to ask you, what small thing can you do today to put you into that strategy focused CEO group, the one that has a much better chance of still being in business 12 months from now? And what opportunities are out there that you've been? Maybe overlooking because you've been so focused on revenue and expenses and getting customers in the door? Are there opportunities out there that you should be looking at a little bit further into if you do this if you if you if you take this opportunity, if you take the economy right now and see this as something that you can leverage to make your business better more efficient and bigger and stronger, then you're going to be the person who has the business that survives, rather than being one of those people who are sitting in a Facebook group, saying that they have to shut up shop because they have no plan for their business. Okay, thank you so much for joining me, I am looking forward to hearing about how you are going to flip your mindset and use the current economy for good, and to find those opportunities to grow. I would love it if you could tag me on a social media post and let me know what this podcast has done for you and your mindset. All right, thank you so much. I will see you back here again next week. So that's a wrap. I'd love to hear what insight you've gotten from this episode, and how you're going to put it into action. If you're a social kind of person, follow me at the Selenite. And make sure to leave a comment and let me know. And if this episode made you think a little bit differently, or gave you some inspiration, or perhaps gave you the kick that you needed to take action. Then please take a couple of minutes to leave me a review on your platform of choice. Because the more reviews the show gets, the more independent retail and E commerce stores just like yours, that we can help to scale. And when that happens, it's a win for you. A win for your community, and a win for your customers. I'll see you on the next episode.

Share this episode

Watch The Video

Ready For More?

For those of us who own retail and eCommerce stores, December’s all about demands and
Too scared to dream big? This episode takes you on a wild ride following Stephen
In today’s Bringing Business to Retail episode, Dionne’s spilling her own secrets about how she

Get my proven strategies Straight To Your Inbox

Add your email to receive your business (& life) changing strategies