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Holding your nerve!

Have you noticed that the use of phrases like “unprecedented times” or the “new normal” seems to be declining perhaps because we are now really in the new normal where looking ahead feels genuinely challenging.


2020 was a tough year and it’s difficult to see 2021 not being one too; if you’re running a business, or just starting one, you need to be even more mindful and proactive about what you can do to survive, thrive and grow. Whilst I’ve never started a business in a pandemic, I have started at least four in economic downturns. Starting a business is rarely easy but if you can start a business in a downturn it certainly improves your chances of surviving in the longer term. Every decision needs to be thought through and plans need to be bold, smart and creative.


If you have grounded faith in, and strong evidence to support, your core business concept, I would advise you, amongst what may seem at times like chaos, to hold your nerve.

Try not to get spooked by scare stories or make rash decisions; few big decisions need to be made instantly and don’t mistake decisiveness with speed. I feel I’ve often made some much better decisions by leaving it overnight - and reviewing it again the following day and then deciding.


Holding your nerve means adhering to your core business principles – doing all you can to understand your business and its offer from your customers’ point of view, sticking to your core messages about your product or service and watching all your vital metrics. Those metrics, which will vary from business to business, should be in your strategic plan – the things that you measure every week or month to check you’re hitting your goals and are on track to achieve your objectives. It’s cheesy but true “no measurement, no management”.


Holding your nerve doesn’t mean being stubborn, it means keeping faith in your core business but being open to new opportunities. Be creative, flexible, and smart and focus on taking advantage of the right ones.

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