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The Energizer Blog

  • Writer's pictureVeronica Kirin

Three Tools That Will Help Your Business Survive a Recession (and burnout)

Building resiliency in business. This is no easy task. In fact, it took me years to reach a place of resiliency in my small business, especially because I, like many entrepreneurs, subscribed to "hustle culture." When I first started my business, I looked to my peers and to the internet for examples of how to run a business and what entrepreneurship *should* look like. I wanted to know what I should expect from business ownership and what was expected of me as a business owner.

In the early days, I was consumed by the excitement of running the business. Naturally, I did everything myself, as is common for new solopreneurs. Each project or task was small and easily managed by one person. But that made me vulnerable to change, including growth.

Three years in, I was burnt out. Each task and project had grown significantly, but I was still doing it all, myself. It made my output vary widely — some days I was on the ball, others I could hardly lift a hand to type. I had no insurance within my business to guarantee its healthy growth.

It was scaling that turned everything around. Sadly, we don't talk about business scaling for small businesses. It's a word that tends to be thrown around when talking about unicorn startups and Fortune 500 companies. And so, founders like me don't transition from doing everything into the CEO visionary stage of running a business. With over 70% of small business owners burning out, with many abandoning their vision for making the world a better place, this is a cost far too high.

I had tried everything else, so I tried scaling as my last-ditch effort before giving up on my vision. During the next year, my business blasted through the six-figure ceiling, but my typical workweek transformed from a weekly 70hr grind to 10hr simplicity. I eventually sold that business and now spend my time teaching others how to scale to build true resilience into their businesses.

As we enter a recession, resiliency in business is even more important. Here are the three things you can do to build resiliency into your business, even during a recession. I call them the Three Pillars of Business Scaling™.

1. Automate

I guarantee you are doing too much inside your business. It's your baby and it's hard to let go of things, especially if you don't know how to retain a level of quality to the work. But technology is so good these days that it can take an enormous amount of work off your plate while still producing stellar results. This is how business owners make money in their sleep — heck yeah! The best part is (as if that wasn't cool enough) that most automation apps, like Zapier, start at free. That's right — we can use technology to take work off your plate (and get your time back) for FREE. That means that your profit margins will expand since there is less for you to do! Woo hoo!

2. Systematize

I know you've heard this one before — systems, systems, systems. Here's the thing: you can't use the Scientific Method of Business™ if you don't have good systems. What's that? Think back to grade school. The Scientific Method was something we learned that helped us study an "if / then" statement. "IF I combine hydrogen peroxide and vinegar in equal parts THEN it will bubble and fizz in a very satisfying way," for example. The Scientific Method is repeatable, well-documented, and study-able. So should be your business! All business is theory, an educated guess. You believe that IF you put out a well-thought-out product, THEN people will buy it. IF you post daily on social media THEN clients will come your way. But are they? Document your systems and begin studying them. You'll notice if the recession effects one of your systems a whole lot sooner and you'll be able to pivot nimbly. An added bonus is that your mind will be free to be the visionary once again.

3. Hire

Before you start rationalizing that added business expenses aren't resilient, let's review. We automated a good deal of your work, most (if not all) for free. Your margins grew. You had more time for self-care to avoid burnout and to conduct more business development so your business grew. You then systematized your business, so it was study-able using the Scientific Method of Business™ so your work got even better, was worth more, and you were able to raise your prices while retaining more clients. So, your business is more profitable and has more revenue. I think you can hire. 😉 By that I include using the globalized society we live in to hire in a financially favorable way for your business — either by outsourcing the tasks you hate or hiring a team where the exchange rate saves you money. This was the final step that got me to a 10hr workweek and cleared my plate of the stuff I hated while offering more specialized services to my clients.

So, what could the Three Pillars of Business Scaling™ do to build resilience for your business? I offer a free course to help you implement them in your business, and I'd love to help!


Veronica Kirin is a serial entrepreneur who sold her tech company in order to teach fellow small business owners what she had achieved: the 10-hour workweek. She customizes her Three Pillars of Business Scaling for each of her clients so they can reduce their time exposure and build the structures necessary to grow their business exponentially (aka. Build an Empire). She is also the author of the award-winning anthropology book “Stories of Elders” and creator of the Stories of COVID research which documents the pandemic in real time. She has been named a Forbes NEXT 1,000 Entrepreneur and BEQ's 40 LGBTQ Leaders Under 40 and has spoken at two TEDx events.


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