Kriston Wood

Kriston Wood

2020 President, Williamson County Association of REALTORS®

Reading this quote, I couldn’t help to feel as if she was speaking to us, the thousands of entrepreneurs working to shift our mindset in uncertain times. We are accustomed to the seasonality of our business. Our 2020 vision was on point, with the first quarter bringing in robust numbers and we have been busy. Then the crisis hits. Are we prepared? What does our business plan look like in a slowdown? What about our finances? Who are the people that would help me push through a shift?

Often, we begin our year with a business plan backed by an overall vision; simple, straight forward and focused. We work the plan, check the boxes and become busy. It becomes automatic. However, the past has proven that market slowdowns happen. Sometimes we are so busy we work ourselves out of work because our plans do not account for a shift. We need to be able to pivot to business plans that do account for market shifts, so that we can implement them with minimal confusion and maximum efficiency. In a slowdown you cannot continue to do what has been successful in your seasonal plan, you must adjust accordingly.

Fear permeates a market that shifts suddenly. For a business owner, fear can cause immediate slowdown. Lorde speaks of this in her quote above. So how can we “use our strength in service of our vision and become less afraid?” When building our revised business plan, we must increase our efforts to continue to see similar results. By increasing our focus on the most important aspects of our businesses — relationships and marketing — we will find that we continue to meet the planned goals, and our impact is far greater for those depending on us to be a resource while they, too, traverse this new terrain.

When busy, we feel more successful and this ego boost deceives us into spending money on trade tools that are not as effective. Worse, we don’t inspect the return until much later. In a market slowdown, we don’t have the luxury of time. We will need our finances to stretch further, focusing only on the most important budget items and trimming the rest. If you have a line item that is not essential, cut it.

We as business owners understand the value of our relationships. In a shifting market, our relationships are highlighted through communication and leverage opportunities. Leveraging the tasks that aren’t our most important business priorities is key to a quick pivot. We can leverage through hiring, through business affiliate partnerships and even our databases. Our customers know us and support us. Communicate. Communicate. Communicate. Show up for them and they will show up for us. 

The truth is our businesses don’t have to slow down, even if the market does. By having a focused plan, leveraging non-essential tasks and staying in communication, we move out of fear and stay in service to our vision.

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