As an entrepreneur, paying attention to the general economic situation impacting the world (and your business) and learning how to plan accordingly is essential for long-term success.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, economic uncertainty has negatively impacted many entrepreneurs and has positively impacted others. If my research is correct, I predict the next 25 years will be filled with non-stop disruption after disruption.
So, how do you plan for economic uncertainty as an entrepreneur and succeed despite constant disruption?
Because of all the disruption and uncertainty, there’s never been a better time to be an entrepreneur. Every industry is shifting, and this friction is what creates new opportunities.
Building confidence and creating futures as an entrepreneur.
If your future is predictable, you can quickly grow your capabilities and confidence because you can see the goal line and the path to get there. But if the game’s rules constantly change, you’ll be unsure if you even know how to play.
Non-entrepreneurs (as well as some entrepreneurs) are often in a state of anxiety and worry during periods of economic uncertainty. In this mental state, they don’t know how to create a new future because they’re paralyzed with stress and lack the confidence to invest in a future they can’t see.
It’s important for entrepreneurs to learn how to help others create a new future for themselves. That way, people—and the entrepreneurs who support them—can be resilient, grow, and succeed despite disruption.
In Strategic Coach, we look ahead to the future and make sure we’re on track every 90 days—some of us for the past 30 years—so we can remain flexible and alert, expand our capabilities, and always see a bigger future. Learn more about how we do this in my ebook, The 25-Year Framework.
How to plan for economic uncertainty as an entrepreneur.
We have a method for gaining clarity and confidence about the future that is especially helpful for entrepreneurs in times of economic uncertainty.
Pick your top 20 clients or customers and invite each of them to a meal. During your time together, don’t say a word about yourself, your company, or your products. Instead, ask:
“If we were to meet again in a year, what would have had to happen in the previous 12 months for you to feel happy with your progress?”
Then, listen and take notes. Ask follow-up questions like:
- What dangers (obstacles) do you have right now that you need to eliminate?
- What risks do you foresee 12 months from now?
- What opportunities do you need to capture over the next 12 months?
- What strengths do you have that you need to maximize?
These questions—and their answers—are the raw material for a new plan through this economic uncertainty. After the conversation, send them a summary of their answers.
You may find that business starts flowing because, suddenly, your clients see a future. Before, they weren’t purchasing or investing. Now, because of your conversation, clarity inspired continued forward momentum.
This method is deceptively simple, incredibly effective, and could catalyze a massive marketing breakthrough for you too—if you just listen. This method works in any industry because it’s about the other person and how they see the world, not your product.
When there is economic uncertainty, many entrepreneurs respond with harder selling strategies or by withdrawing. In contrast, this approach is about reaching out, connecting personally, and being generous with your support. As a result, you’ll attract more clients and fuel your confidence and capability.
As an entrepreneur, you’re no stranger to complex and unpredictable challenges—even when the economy is relatively stable. During these uncertain economic times, leverage your capabilities, insights, and courage to lead others toward success and, as a result, secure your own. Learn ten more leadership strategies for entrepreneurs in my Scary Times Success Manual.