Ok! I know, everybody has advice on business. Everyone has to get a word in on the economy. But being the optimist that I am, I wanted to find out what top business people are saying and more importantly doing to not just survive but THRIVE in this challenging economy. Because you know, when you look very closely there are businesses in almost every market sector that are having a record year and selling products and services.
It’s really interesting when you start to dig for information and do a little research. You find that there are elemental business practices that every thriving business today is doing. And the great news is, YOU….CAN….TOO! This is not rocket science, its business. It’s time to stop blaming the economy. Now it’s time to do something about it!
- Don’t Panic Yourself out of business! In other words don’t drink the Kool-Aid!
You must understand WHAT IS versus WHAT IF. Accept the WHAT IS and base your strategy on that. What is your reality? I asked a struggling customer the other day just how the economy has affected him and he said “Oh It hasn’t, but it could!” Remember, Optimism leads to action and Passivity leads to paralysis. There’s opportunity everywhere!
- Understand that 90% of businesses have given up or are in hiding, scared of the What If! It’s time to go on the offensive. Forget about finding new business, go steal market share, and go steal customers from your competitors while they’re on the sidelines!
- Understand the customers needs from the customers point of view! The day of providing products and services in the way that you think is best is over! There are too many options out there for customers and because of that there’s even less brand loyalty. So you had better slow down and find ways to find out what your prospects and customers want from their point of view….then you had better deliver it.
- Run your business like a “boot strap” start-up! No matter how long you’ve been around. No matter how big you are and no matter how successful you’ve been you absolutely need to step back and look at your company as if it was brand new. Protect your cash; watch your spending; focus solely on sales; take extra great care of your customers; take even better care of your employees. Trim fat and focus on what’s important.
- Set goals! Most experts say that in our society, 70% of us do not set goals; 27% say they set goals and less than 3% of us actually have written goals. Many go on to say that the 3% with written goals control somewhere between 80% and 90% of today’s income. Set personal goals and set business goals. Brian Tracy says, “Success is Goals…all else is commentary!”
- Don’t Waste a penny of your marketing budget! This is the biggest issue that I deal with daily. Know if your marketing is or isn’t working. If you don’t know, shame on you. You need to find out right now! If you know it isn’t working STOP it today. Don’t continue spending and utilizing elements of your marketing just because “that’s the way we’ve always done it!” Today’s consumer…your consumer has dramatically changed and you need to understand where they’re at and how to reach them. Don’t spend another penny until you figure that out!
- Solve problems and make decisions! “The things that matter most should never be at the mercy of the things that matter least.” Don’t sit on problems and hope that they go away. In today’s market your indecision will cost you sales and customers. The world will not wait for you to figure out what to do. Take action now and continue moving forward.
- Manage your time! Remember that “There’s never enough time to do everything, but there’s always enough time to do the right thing!” You’re only focus should be on how to make more sales and protect the customers that you have. Anything else is a waste of your valuable time. Always stop and ask yourself, “Is this the number one thing/task that I should be doing RIGHT NOW to move my business forward.”
- Remember that someone is always watching! Your attitude reflects all the time. You cannot afford to have a bad or down attitude. Your employees are watching and they will reflect your approach to business and life. You’re bankers, partners, suppliers and distributors are all watching to see how you react.
- Hang with winners! Surround yourself with like minded business people. If your normal crowd is always moaning and groaning and complaining, as hard as it might be, find new friends and associates. Attitude rubs off, either way. Stay positive and feed on the possibility thinking of people who “get it”!
- Never, Never, Never Give Up! Enough said!