Starting A Business In A Recession? Ellie Diop Shares Four Strategies For Success

The UK is heading into recession – a recession that could be long and severe. Typically, recessions are accompanied by corporate layoffs and job losses, with leaders themselves at risk of being suddenly out of work.

Many leaders in this situation will choose to regroup, dust off their resumes, and apply for other jobs. However, some will see redundancy as an opportunity to turn their lives around and possibly start their own business.

So, what should leaders know about starting a business in a recession? Eli Diop, US-based business and strategy coach, founder of Eli Talks Money, is in a good position to give some pointers.

After losing her corporate job during the pandemic, she used a $1,200 stimulus check to build a million-dollar online coaching business in just one year. Today his online academy, Elevated Academy, serves more than 50,000 students and Diop is committed to helping other people overcome their circumstances to create successful businesses of their own.

Here are his four tried-and-true strategies for success:

Strategy 1, Keep Your Startup Costs Low

“Choose a business that allows you to keep your initial outlay as low as possible,” says Diop. “When I launched my business, Ellie Talks Money, I bought a Ring Lite, an upgraded iPhone, a website domain, and a Canva Pro membership.”

He continues: “In total, it cost me less than $600. I shared educational content on Instagram for free and spent another $600 over a few months promoting my content on other social media pages.

If you are thinking of starting a low-cost e-commerce business, then Diop’s advice is to first identify the product you want to sell. Use the TikTok #MadeMeBuyIt hashtag and research the most liked videos and top five products trending online over the past three months. You can then create a Shopify account. That step will connect you directly with suppliers like Alibaba and AliExpress, allowing you to create a product without having to buy inventory beforehand (known as “dropshipping”).

You can create low-cost products, list them on your Shopify store, and charge a mark-up to sell them to your customers. Your customers will receive the product directly from the supplier once the order is placed.

Another option suggested by Diop — one that would be preferred by many leaders — is to start a consulting business. Identify a niche or potential topics to cover using platforms like Instagram or Linkedin. These platforms will also help you find clients who need help in your area of ​​specialty. You can then highlight your skills and achievements to your potential clients so they understand the value you can bring.

Diop also suggests starting a low-cost business based on digital products. Some of the digital products that can be sold include printables (digital downloads), workbooks, templates, recipes, courses, e-books, and subscriptions.

Strategy 2: Build community through content creation

“Short-form content videos of 60 seconds or less can help build a community on platforms like Instagram and TikTok,” advises Diop. “You can use those videos to educate your audience on a specific topic or industry, while also keeping them entertained and inspired.”

To build a following, aim to release three to four pieces of short-form content per day. As you follow this process, you’ll know what’s working by watching your posts generate engagement with your audience through likes, comments, and direct messages.

One key strategy to drive growth is to encourage people to leave comments or direct messages. “It’s also helpful to provide your audience with a free offer that will direct them to your email list so you can continue to engage with them there,” says Diop.

Strategy 3: Build trust by providing quality

Diop says, “Putting your client first and getting results for your client should be your top priority.” “So, consider things like the quality of your offerings and how efficiently your customers will be able to access your services or products. Anticipating their questions and answering their questions is key to building an accessible brand.

Diop uses the Thinkific platform to enhance the quality of learning experiences for its customers. She has found that Thinkific Communities (an online learning environment that enables teachers to interact directly with their audiences) has allowed her to engage with her community in a streamlined way. It also provides its customers easy access to its products.

Strategy 4: Strategically Manage Your Expenses to Qualify for Funding

Lack of access to capital is one of the main reasons why most businesses fail within the first five years. Diop says, “It is essential to create a strategy that gives you access to capital from the early days of your business.” “While funding may not be needed to start up, it will be needed to scale up.”

Access to business loans, grants, and loans is essential when you’re expanding your team, adding new products and services, and developing new marketing strategies. “In order to qualify for those funding opportunities, it’s important to keep your business expenses extremely organized,” recommends Diop. “Some essentials you should implement early on include opening a business account, keeping good financial records, and separating personal money from business funds. You also want to manage your expenses to ensure that you run a cash-flow-positive business.


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