7 Practical Ways To Grow Your Business In Uncertain Times

Some of the defining moments in your entrepreneurial journey will come from learning how to grow your business during rough times.

Every entrepreneur knows that there are many variables in the equation of business success; but one factor is constant – uncertainty. 

Recent upheavals such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war have further exacerbated the situation, putting businesses in survival mode. 

Many companies are holding off investments and cutting costs wherever possible. However, holding back and being overly cautious is not the answer.

The only way to thrive in volatile conditions is to ensure that you are always prepared for whatever may come your way. 

Practical ideas to grow your business in uncertain times

1. Plan for failure

No one likes to think about failure, but it’s important to plan for it. Many businesses fail not because there is no demand for their products, but because they do not have the resources to survive a downturn in the economy.

If you want your business to thrive in uncertain times, you must have a plan for when things don’t go as planned. 

As the old saying goes, success starts with failure. This is why you need to embrace failure as a learning experience. Because of the volatility and uncertainty in our world, many companies have become much more risk-averse.

They are trying to minimize any kind of failure. This is not a good strategy at all! In fact, it can be harmful in the long term. 

If you always plan for failure, you will be much more likely to take calculated risks and explore new opportunities, without falling into the trap of being too hesitant or careless.

Even though business is unpredictable, there are certain things that you can expect to happen.

For example, you can expect that certain customers will cancel their contracts with you. You can expect certain suppliers to be late in delivering their products.

By planning for these kinds of failures, you will be prepared to handle them and move on.

2. Go mobile

Many businesses have not fully capitalized on the rise of mobile technology. Smartphones have become the primary way most people access the internet. This makes mobile devices an increasingly essential part of any business model.

Most businesses have websites, but only a few have a mobile-friendly version of the site. This is a big oversight since more people are accessing the internet from their phones than ever before. 

Consumers spend an average of two hours a day on their smartphones and are expected to spend even more in the coming years. So if you want to capture a larger share of your audience, you must switch your focus to mobile.

Invest in a responsive design that adapts to different devices, and make sure your content is optimized for reading on a small screen.

Most importantly, you must make sure your business has a mobile-friendly checkout process. This is especially important for retail businesses since it is much easier for customers to purchase products when they are on the go.

3. Invest in people

In uncertain times, many companies lay off employees in an attempt to save money and maintain profit levels.

This may be beneficial to the company in the short term, but it can also have a negative long-term impact.

When you lay off employees, you also lose their knowledge and experience. When people leave a company, they often take their connections and valuable knowledge with them.

As a business owner, it’s important to recognize the value of your employees. They can help you reach new heights and grow your business to new levels.

But you have to make sure that they have what they need in order to do their jobs well. If they’re stressed over the issue of job security, they won’t be able to give their best.

4. Acquire new skills and partnerships

One of the ways to ensure your business stays afloat during an economic downturn is to acquire new skills that can be applied to your current business.

If you are in a service-based industry, you can learn new ways to solve problems for your existing clients. You can also offer your services to a new group of clients by expanding your services to new industries. 

Investing in partnerships is another great way to harness growth opportunities in uncertain times. An alliance with another company will not only provide you with new revenue streams but also new expertise.

You can also consider taking on interns and apprentices, or hiring external consultants to help you solve specific problems. You can learn a lot from these outside sources and they might be able to help you expand your business.

5. Diversify your business

Another way to grow your business during uncertain times is by adding new products or services to your offerings. This will help you weather a downturn in one part of your business by keeping other parts afloat.

You can also consider investing in multiple industries. When you have your eggs in multiple baskets, you have a better chance of surviving if one of those baskets starts to wobble.

You also have a better chance of reaping the benefits if one of those industries starts to flourish. 

However, investing in multiple industries is not something you should do haphazardly. Each industry you invest in should be carefully researched and chosen for its long-term potential.

6. Leverage your employees

Paying your employees well and investing in their professional development is an investment that will pay huge dividends.

When employees feel valued and fulfilled, they will be more productive and creative. This will result in higher productivity and improved performance, both of which will help your company grow. 

Investing in your employees also has the added bonus of helping you to weather any rough patches in the economy.

Having a loyal, well-paid, and highly skilled team will help your business forge ahead when other companies fall by the wayside.

7. Stay up to date with the latest tools and technologies

If you want to stay ahead of the curve in our constantly changing world, you need to be up to date with the latest trends and technologies.

Be aware of new developments in your industry. Keep an eye on emerging opportunities and threats. 

One way to do this is to attend conferences, seminars, and events related to your industry. Attending these events will give you access to the people who are shaping the future of your industry.

Another way to stay updated is to read as much as you can about the latest developments. 

Be deliberate about learning new ways to achieve greater levels of success with the assets that you already have. A good place to start is by reading at least one article from The Peak Performer Africa every day.

Grow your business in uncertain times
Disciplined experimentation can uncover new ways to grow your business

Experimentation is the secret sauce

There is no way you can possibly anticipate and fully prepare for every event that will affect your business. But disciplined experimentation can get you pretty close. [Click to tweet]

One of the most effective ways to do this is with prototypes.

Whether you are designing a new product or trying to solve a business problem, prototypes are a great way to quickly experiment with various possible solutions. 

If you discover that certain strategies have stopped working, try something new. And when you find a strategy that appears to work well, try applying it in a controlled environment.

Document your results and see if you can scale up the implementation to your entire business.

Whether you are in the midst of an economic boom or a bust, it is important to continuously experiment and learn how to improve your business.

By doing this, you will be better prepared to deal with uncertainties and thrive in any economic climate.

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