Learn what it takes for small businesses to stay on top during a recession
It goes without saying that when a recession hits, the economy suffers. And while most small businesses fear that their company might fail, it’s interesting to learn that this isn’t always the case. In fact, a company can actually prosper during this difficult time.
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Originally reported by our sister brand Business Review Canada, there are a variety of ways in which companies can take the bad qualities of a recession and turn them into profitable ones. Therefore, to assist small business owners with any potential struggles, we’ve put together a few tips—no matter what type of company you’re currently running—to hopefully disregard the recession and still make a profit.
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First things first, it’s imperative to have a positive attitude and outlook on the recession. Your negative beliefs and concerns can creep into your business plans and motives, ultimately harming your overall agenda. Don’t let fear take over—your business can still grow during tough times.
If there is a particular threat on your company, then simply turn that threat into an opportunity. It may be time to get a course in crisis management. However, if you take the circumstances of the recession and use them for your advantage, you may find growth and long-term prospects coming your way.
Despite what you’ve been told in the past, change is good—or it can be good! Most companies that have a high success rate are those who have been able to take changing dynamics in the marketplace and turn them into a profit.
Therefore, don’t be so concerned with how certain changes can hinder your business, but more so how they can help your business grow. You’ll be surprised to ultimately discover how these specific changes cause you to think outside the box and pursue new and exciting techniques to get your company to do well.
While this is definitely all a learning process, it’s vital to no sweat the small stuff. Again, don’t let those negative feelings creep in and fester—that is what can and will destroy your business!
Be as prepared as you can possibly be, but don’t be afraid to use each new experience as an opportunity to learn and grow. Simply put, be aggressive!
Does your business have what it takes to standout from the rest and turn a profit during hard economical times? Let us know if you’ve pursued other tips in the past to prove that you know what it takes to run a successful business—despite all obstacles.
[SOURCE: Business Know-how]
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Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl
Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.
With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.
You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?
I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.
We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.
What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?
I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.
The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.
I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.
What does success look like to you?
I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.