Planting seeds

Yesterday I said that now is the time to plant seeds for your business. I had a couple of replies that questioned my logic and wanted to explain it more.

Some of todays biggest businesses were born of the 2008 recession. They rode the wave back up.

The recession also meant they rode the wave with less competition.

Like a fire the economy cleared the playing feild by taking out bad businesses, made good employees available for hire, and reset the market.

A reset means it gave businesses and people a forced opportunity to reevaluate the how, why, and whats of their operations.

So… what do I mean by planting seeds? There are lots of ways to think about it.

Expand your market. If you already have a product consider expanding the reach into a new segment or vertical. Your existing base is going to be converting at a lower rate so you may need to think wider and not deeper.

Build wider on demand. We recently launched 20!!! new contest templates at KickoffLabs. But we launched a lot of them without dedicated contest designs. Why? We wanted to see where the demand was first so we could save money and build them out later. The results have been surprising and saved me time. :)

If fewer people are making demo requests and you have more time… invest it to make your product 5% better for existing customers. Fix annoying bugs and improve onboarding. Just take the breath, walk through your product and fix what feels off.

Test pricing. Maybe the way you’ve been doing it doesn’t work anymore.

Start a new business. The economy doesn’t mean people stop needing solutions to problems. In fact… because a team may have ditched a costly incumbent means they may be looking for the newcomer. Someone thinking about the same problem in a different way.

Try new marketing channels. For you it could mean trying ads while the prices are low. Or it could mean figuring out if TikTok works for your growth. Or see if Mastadon takes off. It all means a chance to engage new audiences while things start growing again if you start planting content now.

Test new markets with a waitlist or trial balloons. Of course KickoffLabs makes it easy for people to test a new business, but you can also test demand for expansions of your existing business. See if you can fill a waitlist for a new feature as one way to test demand. If you can’t… maybe don’t build it.

So I maybe wrote this as a pep talk to myself, but maybe you found it useful. The next year won’t be easy, but you can make it worthwhile.

Josh Ledgard @joshl