4 Ways to Protect Yourself From the Downturn

There are many challenges and concerns we are all facing during our current time of crisis.

While protecting our health and wellness rightly comes first, we can’t afford to ignore the economic impact of everything that’s happening.

It’s tough to know exactly what the economic consequences will be, but things won’t be like they were before. Whether it’s small businesses struggling, governments getting into debt, or individuals cutting back on spending, almost everyone will be affected in some way.

So what can you do about it? How can you be proactive to protect your financial picture during the current situation?

Here are some ideas. 

Revive Your Existing Offering

No matter the niche or industry you’re in, there are probably ways to make your current offering do more for you. 

During normal times, it’s easy to get a little complacent and let things tick along, almost on autopilot. This isn’t always the worst thing. After all, if something’s working and generating revenue for you, there might not be an urgent impetus to change it.

However, these aren’t normal times! As a result, it’s more important than ever to seek out ways to improve, refresh, or repackage your current offering. 

Here are some ideas for how that might look.

  • Refresh your presentation. Sometimes, if your offering has been around for some time, the core product or service might be solid, but the way it’s presented could use an update. Even the biggest consumer products make tweaks to their packaging from time to time, and creative offerings such as books receive new covers. No matter whether you offer a physical product, or just have a digital presence, consider an aesthetic refresh. 
  • Combine multiple products. If you have multiple products or services that generate revenue, consider packaging or grouping them into a new offer. This is often a good idea for older products which might not do so well on their own, but have greater appeal in a group. Examples of this include bundling courses together in the educational sector, or grouping books into a box set
  • Consider new audiences. It might be the case that refreshing an existing product for a new audience can improve its fortunes. This might involve tweaking the language used, updating its contents slightly, or making sure it references only contemporary tools and techniques. 

Before you take the time to create something entirely new, consider whether your existing offering could be performing better for you. 

Attract New Attention

Depending upon the field you’re in, you might find that a percentage of your customers are unable to spend as much as they did previously on your products and services.

One approach to remedying this is taking a close look at your existing customer generation efforts and seeing if there is any room for improvement. You can also consider new forms of customer acquisition you may not have undertaken previously. 

Here are some proactive steps to take concerning customer acquisition and marketing.

  • Split test existing ads. When did you last test your current advertising? If you’re investing in search or social advertising, it’s worth split testing elements such as the copy, graphics, and targeting to make sure your current ads aren’t underperforming. 
  • Explore new platforms. You might not have sought out new customer acquisition opportunities for a while. More people are staying inside and working from home, and newer platforms such as Tik Tok are experiencing growth as a result. Consider whether you could get your message out on a platform you hadn’t previously tried. 
  • Offer value upfront. A lot of companies are trying to find opportunity in the current crisis by giving people a taste of what they have to offer for free. Some services are offering a trial period, while other companies are giving away previously paid products or services during the current crisis. Explore whether you could put together a valuable lead magnet to both help people out and benefit your business in the long run.  

It’s easy to dwell on the negative aspects of the downturn, but try not to get discouraged. Every disruption is also an opportunity to reach new people in new ways. It’s down to you to find what they are. 

Start Something on the Side 

Let’s be clear about one thing from the start – not everyone can or should be starting a side business right now.

While it’s something you should consider, you might find you don’t have the resources or it’s not the best investment of your time and energy. 

However, for many, being at home and having life interrupted is the ideal opportunity to start something on the side. If it’s something you’d like to explore, here are some pointers to begin with. 

  • Ignored bucket list items. Often, the dreams we had when we were younger get left by the wayside among the mundanities of day to day life. Do you have bucket list items you never pursued? Rather than going all-in, start small and scale. For example, if you want to be an author, try sharing a chapter or short story with an online writing community. If you want to be a musician, try cutting a demo single and getting some feedback. 
  • Changing customer tastes. The winners in business are often the people to adapt to change before others. During our current crisis, you might notice people’s needs and preferences changing. Find ways to offer value based on these changes, and you will have the seed of a successful side business. 
  • Solo vs. scalable. Do you see your new idea as a fun solo hustle, a scalable small business, or perhaps the former being able to evolve into the latter? If you’re going to invest your time and energy into an idea, it’s worth considering where it might go in the future. 

Of course, your existing commitments, as well as your wellbeing, come first. But if your soul craves the challenge of something new, now might well be the time to pursue it. 

Monetize Your Unique Perspective 

One thing I often find is people underestimate the value of their own life experience.

This often comes from a place of humbleness. We may not instinctively feel comfortable with the idea of having a background that people would pay money to hear about.

However, if you feel this way, you might be selling yourself short. I’d like you to consider these three ideas on generating revenue based on your own life. 

  • Personal pain points. What are the difficulties and challenges you face that aren’t widely addressed? If there’s a personal pain point you have, others have it too. Why not take the initiative and solve your problem in a way that will also serve others while generating revenue? This is an example of a true win/win entrepreneurialism at its finest. 
  • Your unique needs. Many successful business ideas have started from applying a proven solution to a group of people it wasn’t previously offered to. For example, some fashion brands have succeeded by offering luxury goods to body shapes they would not have previously been created for. Is there a product or service you’d love to have that isn’t currently offered to people like you? Why not be the one to create it?
  • An appropriate medium. Based on a personal pain point, a unique need, or some other starting point, you may have found the seed of a good personal business idea. But how will you get it out there? Consider the most appropriate medium. This might be adopting an existing service to a medium more in line with its audience’s preferences, such as counselors who offer support by text. Or it might be sharing your knowledge with people working from home, through a means like an online teaching platform. Seek out the best way to reach the people you want to serve. 

Ultimately, we all need to realize that while the macroeconomic situation may look gloomy, there’s nothing we can directly do about that.

Instead, we need to consider the things we have the power to change.

How can you stop worrying about an economic downturn, and start taking action to protect yourself against it? 

I hope the ideas you’ve read today give you reassurance, food for thought, and the impetus to take action. 

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