The building's on fire!
My staff no showed!
Customers are protesting!
The landlord's kicking us out!
Yes. Shift happens.
As entrepreneurs and business owners, we all know that running a business can be a wild ride. It's a journey full of ups and downs, twists and turns, and unexpected surprises around every corner. But when things start to go topsy-turvy, it can be tempting to panic and feel overwhelmed by the challenges ahead. That's why in this blog, we're going to flip the script and offer some quick tips on how to survive and thrive when your business goes topsy-turvy!
So, if you're tired of the same old boring advice and are ready to embrace the chaos, pivot like a pro, and keep a positive attitude no matter what, then let's dive in and discover how to turn any setback into a comeback, shall we?
Embrace The Chaos.
Look, we all know that running a business can be a rollercoaster ride. One moment you're on top of the world, and the next you're wondering where it all went wrong. So, instead of fighting the chaos, embrace it! Learn to ride the waves and have fun with it. Think of it as a thrilling adventure instead of a never-ending nightmare.
One excellent example of an entrepreneur who faced chaos in their business and turned it around into an opportunity is Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple Inc. In the mid-1980s, Jobs was forced out of Apple, the company he co-founded, and loved. Jobs had lost his job, his purpose, and his identity. He could have easily given up and walked away from the tech industry, but he didn't. Instead, Jobs used this experience as an opportunity to start a new venture, NeXT Computer. This new company focused on creating high-performance workstations for the education and business markets. Jobs poured his heart and soul into NeXT, and the company produced groundbreaking technology, including the world's first web server.
NeXT Computer wasn't initially a massive commercial success, but it caught the attention of Apple. In 1997, Apple acquired NeXT Computer and brought Jobs back to the company he co-founded. Jobs returned as CEO and revitalized the company, launching a series of hit products, including the iMac, iPod, iPhone, and iPad, and transformed Apple into one of the most valuable companies in the world. In this way, Steve Jobs turned a setback into a comeback, using the experience of being forced out of Apple to create a new company and then using that company to return to his former company and transform it into a tech powerhouse. His ability to turn chaos into opportunity is a testament to the power of perseverance, innovation, and a positive attitude in the face of adversity.
2. Pivot, pivot, pivot!
When your business is going through a rough patch, it's time to pivot! No, i'm not talking about the basketball move... I mean changing your business strategy to adapt to the situation at hand. Be open-minded and creative when it comes to finding new ways to make money or reach your target audience. Who knows, maybe your new pivot will lead you to bigger and better things!
When covid-19 virus struck the world, it caused every business to get creative, change or die. Unfortunately many businesses thought they could simply do what they've always been doing and weather the storm... That storm lasted much longer than we thought. The result? Thousands of businesses were forced to close down. By the second month of the pandemic, we realized that we needed to find a way to keep our customers close, continue building relationships with them and find a way of creating an experience for them with our teas. Insert - Virtual Tea Tastings!. We quickly partnered with a local chocolate maker and began putting together tea tasting kits that we could send out to our corporate clients or groups of our customers and host 1hr tea tastings and workshops. It was a hit! We were able to gain many new customers, increase our corporate business sales educate our customers on the best methods to prepare our products in an intimate and experiential way!
3. Don't Be Afraid to Ask For Help!
Asking for help can be tough, but it's essential when your business is going through a tough time. One entrepreneur who did just that is Tony Hsieh, the late founder of Zappos. When the company was struggling to make ends meet, Hsieh reached out to his friends and family for help. He even asked his employees to take a pay cut so that the company could stay afloat. This willingness to ask for help and work together as a team helped Zappos become the billion-dollar company it is today.
4. Take a Kit-Kat Break! (Not Sponsored.. Probably Should be. hmm..)
Running a business can be exhausting, especially when things aren't going smoothly. So, don't be afraid to take a break when you need it! One entrepreneur who did just that is Arianna Huffington, the founder of The Huffington Post. When she collapsed from exhaustion and burnout, she realized that she needed to take a step back and prioritize her health and well-being. This led her to write her bestselling book, "The Sleep Revolution," and helped her become a more successful and fulfilled entrepreneur.
I'll draw another example from my wife and I; We had been running our tea company for about 7-8 years full steam which also included a brick and mortar store front and we even managed to have our first child (who spent a lot of time at his grandparents.)
When it came time for my wife to deliver our second child, we made the EXTREMELY difficult situation of closing our storefront down and moving our business exclusively online. 6 months later... Covid19 struck forcing many independent shops and cafes to close their doors due to lockdowns and restrictions. Was it luck? Was it foresight? I don't know what the heck it was... but good thing we decided to take a break, gather ourselves and focus on our growing family, because that became our number one reality for the following two years. Sometimes life itself is whispering to you... "Grab a Kit-Kat, Take a Break!" (P.s. if anyone has contacts at Kit-Kat please share this blog with them, we'll split the %)
5. Keep a positive attitude
Get mad, but stay positive. When things don't go as planned or better yet fall to pieces, it's ok to get upset but this doesn't mean we have to become negative in our mindset. Our attitude is ALWAYS our choice. A few months ago in 2022, I was operating 3 brick and mortar chai bars across the city, while using these physical locations as potential models for a franchise system that I had hoped to launch this year. Once I found my best performing store, it was time to close the others and focus in on the most profitable one to really add fuel to the fire! Two weeks after I closed the two "ok-performing" stores to hunker down on my winner... I received a 30 Day termination letter from my landlord. Yup! Just like that. POOF! That's how you lose 3 store locations in the blink of an eye. What made matters even worse, is that the termination letter came about 45 days before Christmas, so we had all our inventory plans and marketing plans and staff hired etc... As I said before shift really happens.
I was MAD when I learned that the reason for this decision was that a bigger brand wanted our space and had signed a 10 year lease putting our 1 year lease in the trash. Although it really sucks as we were shaping up for phase 3 of our franchise plan, the event and the feelings of anger didn't or should I say hasn't changed our positive outlook for our business.
When all the 'feelings' are set aside... It's really just a business decision made by the landlord that better suits their goals. Life goes on. Who we become now that this has happened is most important and how we transition our customers in the process of these changes is what will be remembered in a year or ten or thirty. So, stay positive and maintain a positive mindset. As John Mitchell once said, " Our attitude towards life will determine life's attitude towards us!"
In conclusion, when your business goes topsy-turvy, don't panic! Embrace the chaos, pivot when necessary, ask for help, take a break, and keep a positive attitude. Remember, every challenge is an opportunity in disguise, and with the right mindset, you can turn any setback into a comeback!
Love you all!