from the Desk of Keith Parnell

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Three Rules for Entrepreneurs During Uncertainty

The following rules can help entrepreneurs through this period of turmoil.

Rule 1: Focus. The crises in the market must not distract entrepreneurs from their core missions. Most times, they are not exposed to the same level of risks as the big companies. It doesn’t matter as much if the Dow loses 2% if a company is not publicly traded. Just as Slim and Templeton did, entrepreneurs should focus on what they can control: building their businesses. Headlines must not overtake strategy sessions.

Rule 2: Visibility. During uncertainty, customers, staff, and stakeholders panic. To get the trust of all these people, entrepreneurs must be visible, especially to their major customers. Visibility alleviates fears. Learn from A. P. Giannini who despite the ruins was visible to do business. Entrepreneurs should also be visible to their staffers — they deserve to know what is happening, if you want them to focus on working rather than polishing their resumes.

Rule 3: Planning. In most developed nations, bad economic times do end. This economic uncertainty will end one day. Is the entrepreneur ready for what comes after? Caterpillar provides a good example: it has plans for the good and bad times. The industrial equipment giant came out of the last recession knowing exactly what to do for growth. No matter how deep the uncertainty, it won’t last forever. Prepare for what comes next.

Three Rules for Entrepreneurs During Uncertainty

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