Nobody battles adversity quite like John Paul DeJoria. The co-founder of the hair care product line John Paul Mitchell Systems was homeless--twice--before becoming a serial entrepreneur and billionaire. On Wednesday, DeJoria sat down with Inc. editor-at-large Tom Foster for the second installment of Inc.'s Real Talk: Business Reboot webinar. DeJoria shared his business philosophy and offered advice on how entrepreneurs can persevere during the coronavirus crisis.
Here are four of his tips for battling adversity.
1. Don't lower prices. Add value.
While many businesses have lowered prices during the current crisis, this could backfire when you inevitably want to raise prices back to where they were. Customers will feel they should be able to still pay at the reduced rate, says DeJoria. For this reason, he advises offering additional products or services while keeping prices steady.
"Give them extra value, whether it's another product they're getting or a service they're getting," DeJoria said. "Then you maintain [the price] you have, your customer gets more, and it's an incentive to come to you and see you on a more regular basis."
2. Market sensitively.
Marketing your products or services to customers who are struggling is risky; it could rub some of them the wrong way. DeJoria advises framing your message a bit differently by beginning with information such as when you plan to reopen.
"At least it gives them a reason for reading it," DeJoria said, adding that you should also thank them for taking the time to read your note in the first place.
3. Establish personal involvement.
Simply getting in touch with people by giving them a call is something that can help in multiple ways. Asking customers how they're holding up will strengthen your relationship with them.
"Personal involvement is important," he said. "All too often people in life just need some love." The same principle applies to reaching out to your debtors or landlord to ask for flexibility. "Say, 'You'll get paid, but can you give me a break during this month?' It never hurts to ask and tell somebody the truth."
4. Stay positive.
Clearing your mind of negative thoughts is crucial. If you've been holding a grudge against someone, forgive them and move on. "Just say, 'That was yesterday. I cannot change yesterday's newspaper. I'm not going to let it bring me down,'" he said.
While the current crisis makes it hard to not dwell on uncertainty and adversity, DeJoria added, focusing on the future will immediately improve your outlook. "It's amazing what happens," he says. "Something lifts off your shoulder and the negative isn't as strong as it was before. This is an amazing thing that doesn't cost anything."