Hopefully it’s not just me (because that would mean I’m being cranky!), but are you, too, *really* sick of the doom, gloom, and all the negative press about the economy and the recession and blah…blah..blah?
Me too – in case you hadn’t guessed that by now. I see so many people spending a lot of time worrying about what will happen when they really need to be focused on what they are going to do. In these times of uncertainty, we can sit around and worry, or we can refocus on our businesses and do more of what’s working, and less of what’s not.
This highlights the need for very good tracking and record-keeping. Every business owner should understand how he or she could generate more clients if needed. So rather than worrying about what’s happening out there, focus, instead, on what you can do to solidify your business for now and the future.
Here are 5 tips I’m implementing in my own business:
1) Prune back anything that’s not working. If you have been testing out some new ideas, and your preliminary results are not good, be OK with pruning back for now. This means cancelling services you won’t use, perhaps reducing the size or scope of your service commitments, and placing your efforts on strategies which have served you well in the past. It doesn’t mean you cut back on services or items your business really needs; but, instead, that you take a look at reducing your overall costs around services or items you don’t need or don’t use.
2) Refresh yourself on your most marketable skills. It’s easy to become complacent when things are going well, but you must, periodically, remind yourself of what skills you have that you could get paid for- if you had to. In my case, for instance, I could take on more coaching clients, or build membership websites for people, or help businesses promote themselves through social media, or I could bring offline businesses online. I could also help business owners get started in blogging, product creation, and probably a whole list of other areas, too. I know I’m not unique. You have a multitude of skills you could be paid to do.
3) Continually cultivate referrals. This is a good practice all the time, but especially when you want to keep your client inflow steady. People who come through referrals are often pre-convinced to work with you, which makes it easier to close the sale. Referrals can help shorten your sales process and cycle.
4) Create additional streams of income. While we all would like to generate huge sums of income all at once, multiple streams of a few dollars each eventually add up to the same thing. If you can create additional streams of income, now is the time to do it.
5) Focus on holding steady, not contracting. This final tip refers to showing up each day and doing what you must do to keep your business running. This is not the time to contract (that is shrink and withdraw), and it may not be the time to expand, so your best option may be to maintain the status quo as much as possible. If a client cancels, consider that new-found marketing time or passive income creation time. Those who hold steady are less likely to be jostled about by changes in circumstances.
Every down cycle has an up, and the task for each of us is to keep our businesses steady until the cycle turns again. All the extra effort you put in now WILL result in a bigger, stronger and better business.