“Start a business in this economy? Are you crazy?” Maybe not so crazy. For the moment, set aside the fact traditional employment options might be limited because of this economy. (It isn’t a news flash the job market is tight.) Instead, let’s focus on different questions: Is a business started today likely to succeed or to fail? Are there good recession resistant businesses? It all depends on the kind of business. This might not be a great time to start a business selling luxury goods. But aren’t there other options? What about businesses selling necessities? Better yet, what about businesses selling necessities at a good value? Maybe this is a great time for that kind of recession resistant business. Tutoring services, for example, are famously steady in an off economy. No matter how tight money might be, many parents will make it a priority to see their children have the resources needed to succeed in school. What about businesses that operate almost independent of the economy? Yes, there are some. Have you ever had the misfortune of having a flood in your home? A problem like that happens just as often in economic booms as it does in a recession. There are businesses that provide exactly that kind of disaster repair. It’s hard to think of a reason a disaster repair business can’t do well in a recession. What else? What about businesses with greater demand in a down economy? There are plenty of business owners struggling today. Wouldn’t this be a great time to sell services that can help turn around someone else’s struggling company? Not to mention anyone who sells a product that will help a business to lower its costs. Wouldn’t this economy help that sort of business to prosper? There are certain demographics that are growing quickly. It might be a great time to own a business that sells to the fast growing population of senior citizens. There are several types of businesses that sell to seniors. Some might provide skilled medical care, and others non-medical care. Still other businesses provide home modification services, installing wheel chair ramps, stair lifts, or shower adaptations. If you are providing this type of service, you might do very well in a world with a fast growing population of seniors. Corporate America has cut so many positions they have created an excellent opportunity for temporary staffing companies. Many retail businesses continue to do well – sales are way up at dollar stores. And, given more people than ever work from home, pack-and-ship stores are doing more business than ever. We could go on and on. Yes, this economy has hurt a lot of businesses. But it has also created opportunities for many others. There truly are some great recession resistant businesses. This might, indeed, be a great time to start a business. You just have to find one that has the right kind of market.
Everyone needs to feel their voice is heard and their contributions are important. Something as simple as sharing a drink the last hour of the day on a Friday with the team to recap wins and give praise can build camaraderie within the team.
All of the above are fairly simple to implement but can make a huge difference in morale and motivation. Have any of these tips worked well for young the past? Do you have other tips to motivate your creative team? If so, please share them with me!
Encourage curiosity. Spark debate. Stimulate creativity and your team will be better at handling challenges with flexibility and resourcefulness. Create a safe space for ideas, all ideas, to be heard. In ideation, we need the weird and off-the-wall ideas to spur us on to push through to the great ideas.
Sure, there are a ton of studies done on this, but here is my very unscientific personal take. When team members can make decisions about how they work on projects, they are more engaged and connected to the project outcome. When they see how potentially dropping the ball would affect the entire team, they step up. When they feel like what they are doing is impactful and valued, they are naturally motivated to learn more, and be even better team members.
Rarely does a one-size-fits-all style work when it comes to team motivation. I have found that aligning employee goals with organization goals works well. Taking time to get to know everyone on your team is invaluable. What parts of their job do they love? What do they not enjoy? What skills do they want to learn? Even going so far as to where they see themselves in five years career-wise. These questions help you right-fit projects, and help your team see you are committed to creating a career path for them within the company.
Most designers I know love a good challenge. We are problem solvers by nature. Consistently give yourself and your team small challenges, both design-related and not. It will promote openness within the team to collaborate, and it will help generate ideas faster in the long run. Whether the challenge is to find a more exciting way to present an idea to stakeholders or fitting a new tool into the budget, make it a challenge just to shake things up.