How to Find Your Opportunities in a Downturn

The world (especially for business owners) has seemed crazy lately. I know it’s been hard. I am an owner of two businesses, and one of them is a business coaching businesses! I know it seems like a challenge to find opportunities in a downturn.

What I’m trying to say is, I know the money is not coming in like it used to, you’re struggling to figure out how to have people work from home, follow all the Alberta Health guidelines—oh, and deal with the rest of your life too. Family, health, church—all of it has been affected. So yes, I acknowledge that fact—it’s tough for everyone, including me.

BUT when I am guided by my coach or mentors to focus on the OPPORTUNITIES provided by this type of crazy world, I am re-invigorated, more successful, and yes, even optimistic. I find ways to improve or create new revenue streams every time, and I want to share that with you. Here’s my video take on staying positive:

How can YOU find opportunities in a downturn?

1. Force Your Mind To Think About Something Good

This can be your dog, your kids, your last beach vacation, your spouse, or how comfy your bed is (that just made me happy). The point is, you can only think about ONE THING at a time, and that ONE THING will create your feelings—every single time. So, if you think about something you are grateful for, you feel good. When you feel good, you can get creative!

2. Stop Interacting With Negative People

Yes, it’s hard, yes there are a lot of things to complain about, but THERE ARE LOTS OF OTHER THINGS TO TALK ABOUT TOO!

I have heard from my clients over the past few weeks that they are enjoying the extra time they get to spend with their families, they are enjoying the extra care and attention they get to put into each transaction, and basically that they have found a way to be grateful for what’s happening.

I also have an incredibly positive and awesome team. When I talk to these people I feel SO GOOD! When I scroll my Facebook newsfeed… sometimes not so good.

That said, I have systematically unfollowed every person I saw posting hateful messages in the past month, and my feeds have improved greatly! I’m also being very intentional about which friends and family I keep in touch with. This helps me stay positive and hopeful.

3. Do The Work to Find Opportunities in a Downturn

Sit down and brainstorm with your team, mentors, or coach based on what you know a potential customer needs/wants right now, and how you can provide it.

You may start delivering online instead of in person, you may start selling a completely different product (sanitizer anyone?). You may start selling a video (which you make once that costs you nothing), or a “do this yourself at home” kit. Be sure to think about long term effects while you’re doing this as well.

You may even start another company! This is entrepreneur-time at its best!! The point is, there IS money to be made in a downturn. It’s very well-known that every time there is a downturn, fortunes are made. So keeping this in mind, follow this brainstorming format.Focus on your goals to find opportunities in a downturn

Brainstorming Format

  • Have everyone in the group share an answer, and start with SILLY, even RIDICULOUS answers, as this unlocks creativity and makes people less shy. You could suggest unleashing tattooed puppies downtown to get things rolling (but please don’t actually do that).
  • Make sure that for each question, you go around the room several times so that everyone has shared at least 10 answers or ideas. My rule is 20, but you can start with 10.
  • Questions you can ask of the group:
  1. What do people NEED right now?
  2. What do people WANT right now?
  3. What will people NEED & WANT AFTER this is over?
  4. How can we serve?

After you’ve got your new revenue ideas, re-forecast your budget and include your new revenue. Decrease all of the expenses that you’ve been able to reduce or get credit back for (i.e. payroll), and take a look at your new bottom line.

If you do this right, you’ll be delighted to see that new number. All is not lost—we just need to tweak the forecast. It’s okay if you tweak that forecast every week right now, or even every day that you get government updates, because new financial aid is being announced frequently.

Once you’ve got your new financial plan, put the activities you need to do to achieve it into your calendar, and actually do them. This might mean calling people, reaching out through email, or simply following up on a previous conversation.

Remember, execution trumps everything—you have to execute to get the results….or in this case, the fortune.


If you need more help on finding opportunities in a downturn, contact TMH Business Coaching and Consulting today for a confidential, free, no-obligation consultation to propel you forward. Also, please feel free to add yourself to our weekly coaching tips email!

Business can be better™ and it should be!

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Kelli-Rae Tamaki

Kelli-Rae is truly passionate about successful business, and believes it can always be better, which is why she has spent 22 years studying, running, coaching and consulting with businesses, just like yours.