4 steps entrepreneurs can take to get through tough times

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When the going gets tough, other people may give up, but not you. Not after this. You can expect tough times at any stage of your business, especially when you’re just starting out. Getting out alive means learning to get over these bumps in unorthodox ways. When you find yourself in a difficult situation, here are four simple steps you can take to get through it:

1. Become an opponent

As an entrepreneur, it’s your job to be smart, make good decisions, and not just follow what everyone else is doing. However, you don’t want to stray so far that you lose touch with reality. It’s about making sure that what you’re doing is sustainable and not just a “hustle.”

Here’s how you can become a responsible contrarian thinker in business:

  • Look at your industry like it’s a big, complicated puzzle. What are the pieces? What makes them work together? How can you change them so that the image looks different?

  • Identify something that has been a rule for too long and challenge it. If everyone is doing it one way, maybe there is a better way to do it.

  • Look at the demographics of your customer base and see if there are any patterns that seem worth investigating further.

Related: How to stay inspired during tough times

2. Buckle up and stay focused on your business

It’s easy to spend money when there’s a lot of it, but as an entrepreneur, you should always live within your means.

In tough times, start by cutting back on unnecessary spending. This can be anything from eating out to buying a new car. There’s a good chance you’re not maximizing your profits if you’re spending more money outside of your business.

Also, try to review the employee’s salary and benefits package if possible. If you’re not making enough money from company profits, you might consider lowering your pay rates for now or revising your benefits package to fit your budget.

3. Extend the run rate by borrowing

When you’re in a slow period, it’s tempting to hang on to your life and not make any decisions. But you should always try to keep your income growing. If you can’t afford new staff or supplies, then borrow money. And if you need more than one round of funding, don’t hesitate to apply!

You may be surprised how many investors are willing to take a chance on you if they see you doing everything you can to keep your business afloat during a downturn. However, not all investors have this kind of perspective. If your business is in financial trouble or isn’t doing as well as expected, investors will want their money back right away.

Also, you shouldn’t expect banks to give you as much credit as they used to. In fact, they will probably give you less than they would have given you just six months ago. And that’s because banks aren’t being very generous with loans in tough times.

The best way to attract banks to lend your initial money is to be a good credit risk. If you have a good history of paying off other loans, or if your business has a lot of assets (like real estate), then banks will be more willing to lend you money.

4. Invest in your well-being more than ever

Despite tough economic times, it’s important to invest in yourself and your well-being more than ever. Your stress isn’t just a personal problem, it’s also a business problem that can affect you and your business in profound ways, and it’s time to start treating it like one.

You need to accept the fact that stress is an unavoidable part of life and it can be for the better or worse depending on how you handle it. The key is learning to manage stress before it takes over your life and negatively affects your health and productivity.

Related: 11 Effective Ways to Cope With Business Stress

Important takeaways:

  • Stand out from the crowd and attract new customers who want something different.

  • Don’t let your emotions get in the way of making the smart decisions that will keep your business afloat.

  • Find ways to finance short-term cash flow problems by borrowing money or selling assets.

  • You will have a better chance of success if you are relaxed, calm, and focused on solving problems.

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