Which species of business owner will evolve and which will become extinct? The answers to these questions are being answered every day as banks struggle to make loans, jobs are being lost, gas prices are exploding, and business revenue and personal income is dwindling.
There are many common sense strategies that are recommended to help business owners not only survive, but thrive in this recession. Here are three solid suggestions that any small business owner looking to thrive during this recession can do:
1. Utilize existing clients for quality introductions: Finding new clients is increasingly more difficult to obtain as your prospective clients are downsizing or sitting in a holding pattern for an undetermined amount of time. While there may be some fear in doing something bold, now is the best time to take advantage of the strong relationships you’ve already created. Make a list and contact your best clients. Take them to lunch and be prepared to discuss ways in which you can add value and provide quality introductions for each other. In times like these, you are always better off utilizing existing relationships than to struggle to start up new ones.
2. Invest in your business NOW: There is extensive evidence from past recessions that investing in your business during tough times is a smart play. While some entrepreneurs are cowering in the corner waiting for the world to change, others have the ability to take away a nice piece of the proverbial pie in the marketplace. Hiring better people, investing in a new PR campaign or firing up a fresh plan are all solid ways to get ahead today. Whatever move may be, try to develop a plan to budget towards improving top line sales. Just think, while your competition is sleeping, you’re building business behind their backs.
3. Market yourself online: 2/3 of people research services and businesses online before they engage with them offline. That means if you are not online you're invisible and not credible to many potential new clients. At a minimum you should be creating a business profile on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. It’s also a good idea to look at the web analytics on your website and update accordingly. These are all low cost options that will help ensure your business builds credibility and will help get you in front of more people.
While there are many ways to grow your business during turbulent times, most people are moving along slowly, seemingly in a daze. The idea behind Darwinism for your business is simple. The fittest will survive and the weakest will die. Stepping up, being bold, and bringing some creativity to your business now will allow you to advance and thrive today. Think about what you are doing to ensure a successful and profitable business. Are you the alpha male or the wounded youngling? Pretend Darwin was watching your business right now, what would he say?
About Steve Fretzin
Driven, focused and passionate about helping business professionals reach their full potential, Steve Fretzin is a Chicago area premiere business coach, speaker and author. He provides one-on-one coaching, group training and seminars through Sales Results Inc., a company he founded. In addition to Sales Results Inc., Fretzin oversees Team Discovery, LLC, the American Club Association, and Networking Monkey, LLC, the number one ranked portal on Google for Chicago area networking events.