Marketing

Make your own new normal, don’t wait for others to make it for you

In March and April of 2020, I heard directly from numerous small business owners and understand that the challenges created by COVID-19 are overwhelming. Many described feeling paralyzed and overwhelmed, which has led to inaction and an inability to pivot or make thoughtful plans or decisions. This is such a normal place to be during this unprecedented time and we wanted to help, by offering support to let you know that you are not alone, your feelings are normal and there is a way to start down the path toward action.


On Wednesday, April 22, I led two interactive sessions with local business leaders and experts to discuss ways to begin to re-imagine your business during this unprecedented time.

Unfortunately, as a small business owner, there is a crisis to lead through every few years. While this COVID-19 crisis is different from anything any of us has led through previously, there are core principles that are consistent to be able to make your own new normal, instead of waiting for others to make it for you:

Get tough: to get through tough times, business owners need to get tough as well. Set aside your guilt to be able to focus on yourself and your business.

Disconnect: Take the time to figure out what’s best for you and focus on that. Turn off the phone, turn off the computer, pause.

Create a plan: Even though these are uncertain times, business leaders must establish some level of certainty for our employees and customers. It’s critical for them to see that you’ve got a plan, even if it ends up being wrong.

Greg Teesdale
Greg Teesdale

About Greg Teesdale

Guidance to small, emerging companies in the development of their business strategies, detailed business plans, and business processes.

Specialties: 30+ years at venture-backed emerging growth companies with 20+ years at the C-level.

Lea Marquez-Peterson
Lea Marquez-Peterson

Commissioner Márquez Peterson has been an entrepreneur in our community for many years and served as the President/ CEO of the Tucson Hispanic Chamber from 2009 until November of 2018. The Tucson Hispanic Chamber serves the business community in the bilingual, bi-cultural region of the Arizona-Sonora border and was recognized as the Hispanic Chamber of the Year in 2013 by the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. The chamber represents over 1800-member businesses and in partnership with the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry is one of the largest chambers in the State of Arizona.

Lea ran for Congress in Arizona Congressional District 2 in 2018 and won a competitive primary race. During her campaign she was endorsed by Governor Ducey, Senator Kyl, Lea enjoyed meeting thousands of people in the region and tackling many key issues impacting Arizona.

She previously served as the Executive Director for Greater Tucson Leadership (GTL) from 2005 to 2009 and owned and operated a Business Brokerage Firm from 2005 to 2009 and a chain of six gasoline stations/convenience stores with 50 employees from 1998 to 2005 in the Tucson region.

Connect with Greg Teesdale here:

Connect with Lea Marquez-Peterson here:

Recommended Resources:

Mentor Me Live – Working Through a Pivot with Aaron Gopp, CEO @ Patter

Aaron Gopp

So you’ve interviewed customers, run some experiments, and built an MVP.   You launch the Minimum Viable Product to customers, and all you hear is the chirp of crickets.   What do you do next?  How do you decide whether to pivot or persevere?  

About This Episode  

In this episode, you’re going to hear a mentoring session between myself and Aaron Gopp, co-Founder and CEO of Patter.  We will tackle pivoting as well as the development of a customer advisory board for your startup.   

Patter is a software application that allows early-stage startups to build a brand that people love by focusing on culture and guiding them through the brand development, implementation, and management process.

This episode is filled with many actionable nuggets, and most prevalent are the principles of working through a pivot or persevere decision:

Focus on what’s working – When things are not going as you hope, it’s important to focus on what IS working.  In this case, Aaron had four out of forty customers that did engage with the Patter platform.  These four customers are likely to teach Aaron and the team something valuable that will help propel them forward.

Get more specific and narrow – Each time you are faced with a pivot / persevere decision you have an opportunity to get more specific.  In this case, Patter doesn’t yet have any paying customers; which makes their next milestone to satisfy ONE customer.  

Patter did a great job of getting more specific and narrowing in ono more mature startups.

Re-evaluate all activities – When you change the customer segment you’re focused on, everything else in your business model is impacted.   As a result, you must re-evaluate all products, people and processes to ensure your startup is laser-focused on the newly hypothesized segment.

With these key principles, you can survive the startup “drunken walk” and find a scalable business model.

I’d love to hear from you — What pivot or persevere decisions have you had to navigate in your startup?

Connect with Aaron Gopp here:

Strategic Thinking – A Critical Skill for adapting to a rapidly changing world

The Big Oxmox advised her not to do so, because there were thousands of bad Commas, wild Question.

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