Networking expert Stefan Thomas, who has worked with everyone from small business owners, through to multi-national organisations such as BT, Instinctif and Oqema, is sharing some tips about staying positive in a negative world.
Stefan, who lives in Oxfordshire, is a professional keynote speaker and the bestselling author of Business Networking for Dummies as well as Instant Networking and Win the Room.
Seen as a business leader Stefan has been repeatedly asked about how a small business can navigate the current cost of living crisis.
“What does that really mean for a small business owner? For me, I’m going to move into a serviced office where bills are included in the rent, fixing my costs and making the winter far more predictable,” he said.
Many business owners feel the outlook for businesses is gloomy, however Stefan says: “we can always look at any situation as gloomy, or we can remove the labels from it and embrace what opportunities the situation reveals.”
What are the opportunities? Stefan believes that business owners, and the entire population will want to save money. Entrepreneurs will want to make more money. Many business-to-business service businesses can help people do both or either. The opportunity is that businesses should adjust their marketing and focus on helping people save or make money.
Here are his tips on how to be more positive in a currently negative business world:
- Network – building a community around you is incredibly useful when things are going well, and absolutely invaluable in the tough times.
- Sit down and look at what assets you have – your network, skills, experience, existing clients, ex-clients, the people who’ve said they might become clients, content and anything else you might be able to use. What do you have you can positively use today?
- Where are your low hanging fruits? Which ex-clients might work with you again, which people who said ‘maybe’ could become a ‘yes’ given a little push? Contact them with a light touch.
- If you’re quiet, increase your content output. You’ve nothing to lose if you have time on your hands and can talk directly to your audience. You are just one piece of content away from a major breakthrough, therefore get writing, creating videos or creating a podcast.
- What marketing has worked before? What did you stop doing and you don’t really know why? Get back on to it now. Restart that email list, turn up at that networking group again. Whatever it was that you stopped, get back on to it.
- What service or workshop or retreat or online course did you never quite get around to launching? If you believed in it then, dust off your notes and launch it now.
- Bootstrap everything. Use online tools that exist already to get you ahead without costing you loads. Eventbrite can have your event or workshop up and visible within minutes. Mailchimp can restart your email marketing within seconds. The list goes on. You can get things up and running quickly, without costing the earth.
- Ditch your perfectionism. The best business people launch, then refine. They don’t wait until everything is perfect.
- Talk openly to trusted confidantes and advisors. If things are a bit rubbish right now, you don’t need to tell the world, have two or three people you trust, who might be able to offer advice, or just a listening ear.
- Stuff happens – remember that. Entrepreneurs are used to change. What will define us is our ability to deal with differing market conditions, so look at what you can do and ask yourself ‘what does this make possible’?
Stefan Thomas can be found here https://www.linkedin.com/in/stefanthomasnetworking/