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Starting A Business in A Challenging Economic Climate, Part One (Why Now?)

Starting A Business in A Challenging Economic Climate, Part One (Why Now?)

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    Starting a business during a recession seems counterintuitive, doesn’t it? If the economy isn’t doing well and people aren’t spending money, doesn’t that mean a new business is likely to fail? Actually, the answer may surprise you.

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    Fears about starting a business in this economy are common and understandable. But in this two-part series, I’m going to show you why this economic climate is a fantastic time to start a business, how you can limit your risk, and where you can get help.

    Part One: Why Now Is A Great Time To Start A Business

    History shows us that the economy may not have as much of an impact on startups as you might think. Many of the companies you know and trust were started in economic conditions much like the ones we’re experiencing today. Disney, Johnson & Johnson, and Microsoft were all started during recessions, and I think we can all agree that the economic conditions in which they were started didn’t doom them to failure. You can operate out of a sense of scarcity and fear, perpetuated by the media, or you can rely on history to show you the way.

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    Your corporate job may not be as safe as you think. So many businesses are making cutbacks these days that one thing is clear: nobody is completely safe from layoffs. You may not be privy to what’s going on behind the scenes at your corporate job or what’s happening in their books. So you may not know if your job is safe, if it’s safe “for now,” or if you’re next on the chopping block. Even if your company is trying to protect its employees, in the long run, many companies may not be able to keep everyone on. Now is the perfect time to build your “failsafe” or “backup plan” so you’re prepared if your employer can’t carry you through. Better to start now and have something in place, already growing, and if you don’t need it, you’ll have some nice extra income on the side.

    Experts don’t know what’s going to happen. Some financial experts are saying they’re already seeing signs that the economy is improving, but others caution that we could be heading into a depression and that it may be a long time before we see true prosperity in our economy again. It’s hard to imagine that this economic climate is permanent, but without a clear idea of how long this is going to go on, and without knowing for sure that your corporate job is safe, having your business up and running and gaining momentum now, even in your spare time, just makes good sense.

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    Labor and outsourcing are cheaper than ever. Because everybody’s looking for clients, products and services that you need for your business are more affordable than ever. Thus, your startup costs for virtually any business will be less expensive and you’ll find fantastic values out there.  That means you’ll be much more likely to be able to outsource mundane tasks to focus on the aspects of your business that really need you. Plus, instead of making the mistake that many new and inexperienced entrepreneurs make and trying to design your own logo and web site (almost always a mistake, in my opinion), you’ll be able to hire talented professionals at reasonable rates.

    You’ll be more invested in your own success. In an economy where everyone is flourishing, many business owners think they don’t have to work as hard. Clients are easier to come by, and if your business doesn’t succeed as quickly as you anticipate, it’s not a big deal to get a temporary job until things pick up. In contrast, in an economy like this, many business owners exhibit a much stronger work ethic, where, even if there are jobs out there, they work like crazy to make their businesses succeed as soon as possible.

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    It’s so easy to give into the fear in challenging economic times like this. It’s easy to believe that now is the time to stash your cash in an emergency account and hang in there for the long haul. But the wisest course of action just might be the opposite action, to invest in small business ownership. In the second part of this series, I’ll share what you need to know to start a business and limit your risk so you still have that emergency fund intact.

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    Last Updated on August 16, 2019

    15 Smart Ways to Approach Interpersonal Relationships at Work

    15 Smart Ways to Approach Interpersonal Relationships at Work

    Once you have embarked on your professional life, whether it is after college or high school, you will be making a transition to the workplace. If possible, it is good to find an employer that is flexible. In other words, one that possesses a culture that is diverse and tailors to the needs of its employees as a bottom line.

    But, even if you don’t land your dream job right away, there are many ways to improve your experiences within the workplace as you climb the career ladder.

    In the subsequent sections will be looking over ways to engage your relationships at work, including 15 ways to effectively approach interpersonal relationships at the workplace.

    1. Open Up Cautiously

    Depending on if its a startup, a small business, enterprise or corporation it’s important to be aware of your surroundings.

    Be mindful of how much you open up about yourself, specifically regarding your personal life. You do not want to give the wrong impression, so be careful how much or what details you divulge about being in a relationship or having children.

    You have to reach a certain comfort level and rapport with the rest of the staff to be able to engage in transparent conversations. A good general guideline is to stick to small talk.

    2. Observe Your Surroundings

    There will be times when we are summoned to have a leadership role or to undertake a project to lead a team.

    Try not to be too bold or overcompensate at every turn when there is a meeting or an interaction among other staff or employees. The last thing you want to do is to be the person who wants to monopolize every conversation and every interaction.

    Be a passive observer at first, and more often than not, you will learn a lot by letting others talk a lot about themselves.

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    3. Listen Actively

    It may seem redundant, but it is essential to practice the art of really listening to the other person.

    Developing interpersonal skills and connections with others at work comes down to listening. It is not just paraphrasing what your superiors or colleagues are trying to communicate; it is about understanding what is at the core and reading between the lines.

    Phrases like “I can see what you are saying” or “I can acknowledge your insight” are just some examples. Learn to empathize and relate with people with whom you have a genuine connection.

    4. Consolidate All Feedback

    When you learn to listen to others and to allow them to finish their thoughts you are on your way to be being a great communicator.

    One of the toughest tasks to accomplish is to include everyone’s voice. Don’t rely on shout-outs or trying to come up with the best answer. Including everyone’s voice is about listening to all suggestions and putting together an entire picture. When everyone feels part of the process there is great cohesion.

    5. Never Make Sweeping Judgements

    As person and a human being with compassion never make any assumptions about anyone.

    Just because they have a certain skin color, clothes or physical features, never make stereotypical or generalizations about anyone.

    6. Keep Emotions in Check

    Work-related stress is something we all have to deal with at some point or another. Whether you work in the public or private sector you will encounter stressors or stressful co-workers. In this case, it is good to keep open the lines of communications.

    Always ask to clarify how a person feels and where they are coming from. It is better to entertain these conversations before they make a person lash out or have a negative reaction. Ask to speak privately and get feedback. When you do this it really shows you care about what your role is and that you are a true professional.

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    7. Give Help to Others

    Having compassion and empathy for others is a noble attitude to practice.

    Though, do be careful about how much you want to get involved with colleagues at the office; it could jeopardize the nature of your work relationship and the roles you both have.

    It’s best to separate the personal from the professional and lend a hand by using your best judgement.

    8. Broaden Your Horizons

    Once you have worked in a company or an organization, things can get repetitive and dull. Sometimes we need to remember that we are human and need to fulfill certain responsibilities.

    Often we want to try to change things by introducing our best abilities or perhaps our inventions, but we need to be realistic. Change does not happen overnight, rather it is a long process.

    Step back and take a look at the big picture, and, put all your cards on the table to get perspective. Sometimes we approach situations in life from the wrong point-of-view.

    9. Be Optimistic

    This is probably one you have heard time and time again.

    When we suggest to have a positive attitude it does not mean to fake it until you make it, nor to conceal your feelings. This is not the case in this situation. Overall, you want to try to be authentic in how you are feeling, because life will throw curve balls that are beyond our control.

    10. Be Sensitive to Cultural Norms

    Whenever you are around other people within a professional workspace, do not make assumptions in trying to figure people out in an instant.

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    Some cultures discourage physical contact, while others may be inviting. Always be courteous, respectful and ask questions. It will not only make you more aware of others’ needs, but show that you are considerate of the differences.

    You do not want to get off on the wrong foot by being too friendly or too touchy. Just observe how people respond to your approach and let them lead the way of what is a safe practice to meet and greet the first time around.

    11. Show Professionalism

    How you interact and carry yourself around others will be the difference between a job promotion or losing your job. No matter what, always respectful and professional towards others.

    You will have an opportunities in life and at work, so showcase an outpouring of great and positive energy in the face of adversity.

    12. Get Involved with Activities

    When you are part of a company, there are often opportunities for organized activities outside of the office space.

    Sometimes it is worth exploring uncharted terrain and to get to know people in a different environment. Plus, you will have an opportunity to be seeing in a different light.

    Even though you are off the clock, keep your professional tenure and set boundaries. You want to be vulnerable, but not put yourself in a comprising position. Use your intuition and common sense to evaluate these situations.

    13. Get to Know Your Company

    With your smartphone or your laptop, you have at your fingertips a mine of information online. Just as you would do before a job interview, conduct ample research to get familiarized with what your company does and how its branding is perceived via the media or social networks.

    Rather than just focusing on doing your job and fulfilling the duties, see what the business is up to. It is fundamental to really know what organization you belong to. Get educated on what other ventures they are involved with as well as the ones that you are directly in the know about.

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    14. Learn to Problem Solve

    Problem solving is going to be a skill you will acquire with experience and by making mistakes. Furthermore, not only will you make mistakes but you will likely also sometimes fail. This is okay and is part of the natural swing of things!

    Learn to take responsibility for your actions and decisions. At the same time, do not blame others for coming up short. When you come forward with the truth and responsibility, your supervisors or superiors will take notice of your authenticity.

    One of the greatest gifts in life is fail and once you experience you start to get a different perspective on how to move forward at the job.

    15. Do Some Prospecting

    If you have coding, computer, language or other beneficial skills, be sure to pitch these at the right time.

    When you start out new at a company it is best not to show all your cards. It is like poker: don’t let others see if you believe you have the upper hand. Take time to get familiarized with your company and organization before promoting your outside skillset.

    You will know when to put forward your amazing talents, so proceed with caution.

    Conclusion

    Learning to refine your interpersonal skills is a lifelong process. In time, you will also became more effective and skillful after accumulating work-related experiences.

    Exert humility, understanding, compassion, and mindfulness and the rewards will come!

    Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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