Ok, ok, ok, I get it. We are in the midst of one of the biggest recessions in the last 20 plus years, according to the media. Everyday I look at my RSS feeds, my google page or the news. It is all doom and gloom. Personally, I am tired of it and believe now is the best time to be in and grow a small business. Yes, I know fear sells and yes I know media companies are in it to make money, but come on people. Give me a break. Can’t I have just a little bit of good news sprinkled in with the doom and gloom?
As someone who is participating in the American Dream via entreprenuership, I am always looking for ways to improve, stengthen and grow my business. So instead of focusing on the doom and gloom, I am focusing on the positives. The positives of a good recession for a small business owner, in my mind, are as follows:
1) Invest in your infrasturcture.
- Small businesses by nature are set up to run lean and mean. We do not have access to millions and millions of dollars from ponzi/hocus pocus fianancing, so we must be practical with our resources. In good times this means sales reps don’t want to “waste their time with us” and in down times we can pick up equipment for pennies on the dollar. Now is the time to purchase the equipment you want but could never justify the cost. If you are buying used equipment, MAKE SURE you purchase a service contract. You will sleep better at night.
2) Invest in your people.
- Let’s face it. The most important thing in any business is your client base. Right after that, it is your people. Now is the perfect time to not only train your people, but also recruit new employes. The recession will end and when it does, are your people better, the same or worse for the experience? How many jobs can one employee perform and are they fully trained on that new piece of equipment? Are they cross-trained in two to three other positions? What were your biggest employee headaches over the last few years? Now is the time to solve them. Recruit, recruit, recruit. The best hires I have ever made were people that took six months to a year to recruit. Now is the best time to find new employees so you do not have to make knee jerk reactions when you do have to hire. Most everyone will at least sit down for a cup of coffee and start a conversation. Call all the people who did not want to talk to you for the last two years and meet with them. You will be amazed at what you find out about a person…like are they really worth all the hype?
3) Invest in your customers.
- This is THE most important thing that any small business can do. What can you do, right here right now, to strengthen a relationship with one of your customers? Find something in your business that you can use to help them. It does not necessarily have to be a product or service that is fee based. A tremendous value add you can provide is education. What is happening in your industry that will affect your customers? Take the time now to build trust and help your clients prepare for the future. Note, I did not say this is a sales call for you to peddle your wares.
4) Build NEW alliances.
- Stop reading this blog, pick up the phone right now and call someone. Anyone. Build a new relationship with someone outside of your current network. You are on every social media sight known to man, so pick up the phone and put a voice to that face. The more people who know you, the easier it is for them to refer you.
This “recession” will end. What you do right now right here, today will pave the road for your success in the future.
TAKE ACTION NOW!