Paralysis or Positivity? Business Ownership During Difficult Times
Jun 4, 2021
Karl R. LaPan, The NIIC

We can all agree we’re ready to move on from the pandemic. Yet, it’s good to pause and reflect on what we learned.

What’s the best way to manage cash flow and juggle my expenses?

Many small businesses had cash liquidity issues before the pandemic. Customers were floating their payments. Budgets are tighter now. Business builders with a growth mindset are leveraging microloans, crowdfunding and other funding options. They recognize how these financing methods can position them to seize potential opportunities.

When should I market and ship my products?

Some business builders felt uncomfortable about monetizing their businesses during difficult times. History shows companies that acted boldly likely emerged stronger and more viable than those that waited for the world to improve. 

Should I pivot as some of my customer opportunities dry up?

A business pivot is a shift caused by insights and learning. Business builders need to lean into their learning. If critical assumptions about their businesses prove less likely to happen, expect to pivot. Odeo became Twitter. Starbucks started out selling espresso makers and coffee beans. Follow your instincts. Pivots can be a sign of market smarts. 

How do I manage my business when I have self-doubt?

Women business builders have taught me a lot about self-confidence, imposter syndrome and managing self-doubt. The most successful women business builders focus on daily growth. They surround themselves with people who make them better. 

Focus on business fundamentals to manage forward. 

While there is no magical elixir, savvy business builders drive long-term success by:

  1. Diversifying revenue streams;
  2. Conducting customer discovery to understand the customers’ pain points;
  3. Reinvesting profits to extend the cash burn rate runway;
  4. Investing in professional upskilling and business development. 

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