• Almaza & Alisha

Survival Guide for Small Businesses

As a female, "working mom", owned small business there are so many thing we have learnt along the way and continue to learn which drive who we are and what we aim to achieve.

As we all know, owning a small business at this point in time, is so difficult! Covid-19 has created some of the toughest environmental and economic challenges and conditions that any one could ever have imagined. When you have worked so hard to create a business and grow it and then all of a sudden see things start to fall apart it's a very tough pill to swallow. But one thing about us is that we are fighters, we are determined, we are resilient, we are passionate, we are innovative and we will never give up!

We have been through so much together to get to where we are and we have realised that the only way to survive is to adapt and to do so quickly! If you don't change according to the new way of life and new customer needs and wants then you will be left behind. What we have always known and something which is engrained in us is that our passion to deliver an amazing product or service with agility, quick turnarounds, passion, innovation and with meticulous attention to detail, is what has always and will continue to set us apart.

Here are our top 5 things we have learnt from people we look up to and admire, about how to start, grow and survive in any business which we will be using to inform what we do as we look forward to the future and to how we will be adapting to the new world.

  1. Always be aware of popular culture and what is happening around you at any given time - your finger always needs to be on the pulse and you need to adapt or respond accordingly! This is something that Anna Wintour has been so good at integrating into the business and why she has been able to grow Vogue to the respected and trusted voice for the fashion industry that it is today.

  2. When you're going out there to get a new client, don't do so by just going and presenting your credentials. Do your research first - find out what problems the business needs to solve and then create your pitch for new business around how you can solve that problem for them. This was one of the things that has set one of our favourite advertising agencies, Goodby, Silverstein and Partners apart from their competitors.

  3. Disrupt rather than pioneer. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has transformed and grown the company into one which so many people from all over the world aspire to and this is the case for the point he makes above. It is a lot easier, simpler, quicker, more cost effective to disrupt the market rather than being a pioneer because being a pioneer often times requires people to change their behaviour and therefore it takes a lot longer to achieve success with.

  4. Negotiation is key - Chris Voss, former world renowned FBI hostage negotiator explains this. "Everything in life is a negotiation, life is a negotiation, it doesn't matter if you're a terrorist or a business person. The stereotype about negotiation is that its about being the biggest jerk in the room, whose the loudest, most aggressive and who takes the most at the other's expense but that is not the case! Great negotiation is about great collaboration. The adversary is not the person across the table, the adversary is the situation. The person across the table is a counterpart that is struggling with some aspect of the same problem that you are. By working with them and solving the problem together, you will always be better off! Spending time learning how to negotiate effectively will help you achieve your goals through collaboration and the use of tactical empathy that creates trust based influence".

  5. Love and be passionate about what you do and use this love and passion to drive everything you do. When you're doing something that you love, it comes naturally, it brings so much joy and it opens you up to possibilities you never dreamed could be there. More importantly, it keeps you interested and curious, always wanting to know and learn more!