Juli Oliver got into the business of professional organizing because it matched her high-energy personality. Since she launched her company, OrganizeNY, in 2005, she’s had a steady stream of long-term clients. But by the end of 2009, in the depths of the recession, business was dropping fast and so was her morale. By January 2010, business had slowed 80% from the previous year.
“I never slow down or stop,” says Oliver, 34. “Not having anything to keep me going was a very strange feeling. It was awful. [But] I knew I couldn’t sit inside my home every day and mope around.”
For Oliver, finding ways to socialize with other small-business owners was invaluable in changing her attitude, which helped her make a business comeback. Today, her revenues are back to pre-recession levels.
Here are five steps to get in the right mindset for a business turnaround.
Step 1: Be social, even if you don’t feel like it.
Shutting yourself away from everyone is a common mistake too many business owners make when times are tough, says Debra Condren, a New York-based business psychologist and author of Ambition is Not a Dirty Word (Broadway, 2008). “Sometimes you can be your own worst underminer,” Condren says. “You start feeling like a fraud.”