Guest Post by: Tumi Frazier, founder of Tumi Frazier International
With tough economic conditions, volatile markets, technological advancements, high unemployment rate and societal changes, small businesses are taking tremendous strain. Many entrepreneurs are concerned about their ability to stay in business during the current tough times, especially here in South Africa. Even a well managed business can struggle during major economic downturn since no business is immune given the ripple effect it has on different industries.
So, how do we weather the storms as entrepreneurs? Who do we turn to for business advice?
There are people and businesses who have weathered the worst economic crises in history that we can learn from. Not only did these great businesses endure tough times, but some were actually founded during recessions.
Elizabeth Arden, the Founder of Elizabeth Arden Cosmetics, not only survived the Great Depression but built a cosmetic empire which was later labeled one of the best known American brands in the world.
"What entrepreneurs need now more than ever before is mental toughness, adaptive thinking, perseverance and creativity."
Netflix is also one of the most successful businesses that started during a recession as a response to the decline in the video rental business. The founders understood that even in a recession, people still needed entertainment without necessarily going out and spending too much money. Netflix introduced the TV/Movie streaming plan that allowed consumers to stream an unlimited amount of entertainment a month; they introduced a range of different price plans and services to meet the needs of different consumers.
In essence, consumers do not stop purchasing goods and services during tough times but rather look for better deals. So, during such times, it’s important that you provide better deals to meet customers' changing needs. Offer exceptional customer service and find innovative ways to create the demand for your goods and services and brand visibility.
What entrepreneurs need now more than ever before is mental toughness, adaptive thinking, perseverance and creativity. "Remember, tough times never last but tough people do," as Dr. Robert Schuller once wrote.
Tumi Frazier is a South African entrepreneur, professional speaker, author, TV personality, consultant, and founder of Tumi Frazier International, Tumi Leadership Academy, and Tumi Foundation. Tumi is an internationally acclaimed Leadership and Change Management expert who has worked with high profile clients and organizations across Africa, United States and Europe. Tumi has authored 4 books: Courageous Stories of Inspiration; In the Midst of the Storm; Stepping Stones to Success; and Your Moment. Follow Tumi Twitter | LinkedIn
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