Struggling With Business This Holiday Season? Here's How To Stay Afloat
’Tis the season to be jolly — unless business is struggling so much that you start to wonder how you’ll get through the rest of the year financially, much less lavish your loved ones with gifts. Entrepreneurs and businesses know this pain all too well.
On one hand, consumers are eager to buy gifts and treat their loved ones and themselves, spending money on what they find value in. On the other hand, consumers are eager to buy gifts and treat their loved ones and themselves, spending money on what they find value in.
Don’t see the difference? It’s all in how you approach it. If you believe it’s a scarce market, the aforementioned statement feels like a curse:
“People are buying all this other stuff right now, so they won’t have money to buy what I have to offer.”
If you believe the pie is abundant, it will feel like a gift:
“People are in the mental mode of buying what they value. I have something of tremendous value that lots of people want and need, and this is the perfect opportunity to show them the value of what I offer.”
That’s a concept to carry with us throughout the entire year, not only during holidays. However, in this season in particular, it can be extra challenging to hold fast to the abundance mindset when business is struggling, and perhaps has been for a while. Many entrepreneurs hope for one last hurrah before the end of the year. Between Black Friday, Cyber Monday, doorbusters and so on, something’s gotta give… right? Well, when it doesn’t and things are looking really grim, try this.
1. Triple Down On Your Strengths
Got a great new blog idea? Feeling the itch to start a podcast? That’s great, although right now may not be the time to launch yet another project, especially if you’re, say, in the real estate or consulting business and the majority of your income comes from building relationships and closing deals. It may be a fantastic addition to your overall business, but if you’re reading this and your business is seriously floundering, this is probably not the best time.
This is also not the time to invest time and energy into improving your weaknesses or learning brand new skills. For now, focus on the 20% of the activities that give you 80% of your results. Triple down on your strengths. If you’re good at building your network on LinkedIn and you’ve seen great results there, commit to 10X that this month. If you’re great at really connecting with people in conversation, seek out opportunities to do so at each holiday event you attend this month (there will be many).
2. Don’t Get Desperate
When your situation is truly down to the wire, whatever you do, don’t throw your values out the window and show desperation. No one wants to buy from a needy seller. Your customer or client will unconsciously (or consciously) question your commitment to them, and you will feel gross and inauthentic, knowing you’re not applying the values you previously lived by. Stay in integrity with yourself, and resist the temptation to just accept whatever the client or customer can pay for your services or products.
There are people out there who want — and need — what you have to offer. When you keep your mind in a clear, receptive place, you’ll not only become more aware of who and where those people are, but you’ll also feel much better throughout the process.
Additionally, know the value of what you offer. The truth is this: those whose service or product solves a great pain — a painkiller versus a nice-to-have vitamin — and know how to market it as such, can truly flourish during this season. Those who are unclear about the value they bring, the pain or problem they solve, and who their ideal audience is, will typically suffer greatly. In your conversations with others, make it about them and what value you can offer them right now, regardless of whether or not (or when) they become your customer or client.
3. Be Vulnerable
If your back is up against the wall and your financial situation is seriously bleak, now is not the time to tell everyone you’ve got it all together. Being willing to swallow your pride and humbly ask for help can be extremely uncomfortable… and a huge opportunity. Why? Because vulnerability breeds connection and trust.
If you’re in a truly desperate situation, instead of allowing it to seep into your interactions with potential clients (remember, staying outward focused is always a must), tap into your network. Asking a fellow entrepreneur, friend, or even family member for a favor to send you referrals is often not seen as urgent. When they have the time, sure — they’ll perhaps write a few introductory emails, or mention your name to someone when the need for your service or product arises. If, however, you’re willing to get vulnerable and share the urgency of your situation, the value you offer, and what specifically you’re requesting of them, not only are they more likely to act now, this could bring you closer as friends and colleagues.
Wherever you are in your business, this season is an opportunity to identify where there’s room for growth and improvement, professionally and personally. Take advantage of this, and accept it for the gift it is.
Luci Lampe is the Author of ACHIEVING SEXY and the Founder of Sexy Mama Movement, empowering every mom to live a life she loves in a body she loves.
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