If you've cracked a newspaper or turned on the news lately, it's all doom and gloom about the economy, market volatility and outlooks on business. The continuing financial crisis has left business owners on edge, causing many to do just the opposite of what they should be doing. Hopefully, you are not one of those frightened ones making emotional versus rational, practical decisions to propel your business forwardin any economy.
Looming financial questions have negatively impacted economies around the world. No country or region has been completely isolated from the financial storm. Here at home, companies large and small are scrapping plans to introduce new products. Cutbacks on marketing are some of the first considered. This is exactly the wrong thing to do. Now is the time to be bold and take action to grow your business -- especially small businesses. This economy demands that you become known, liked and trusted enough for people to buy from you. Trusted enough for them to allow you to become their solution.
Now is the time, more than ever, to have an actual marketing plan to ensure this is the case. And then work the daylights out of that plan. Think about it. When are your prospects more likely to see and respond to your marketing? In boom times, when they're being bombarded with advertising and promotions from all of your competitors or, in lean times when your competitors stop contacting them? Now is the best time to grow your business.
While competitors are hunkering down, you have the opportunity to excel. You have a wider field to let people know what makes you different in a market of many without distinction. In most cases, the competition won't be trying to contact your prospects as usual. They probably won't even be contacting their own clients as often. This makes it all that much easier for you to get attention with clear differentiation in your market (what makes you special, different, THE desired choice?). It makes it easier for your PR, ads, in-house marketing efforts, internet marketing, etc. to be noticed ... that is IF you have a plan you are implementing to put yourself out in front of your public in remarkable ways.
If you paid attention to everything you saw in the news about the economy, or anything else, it could easily drive you to drink. The media's driving force is constant negativity. It's only the topics that change. But before you give up on your business future based on news reports remember that the majority of people in the U.S. (approximately 96%) still have jobs and are earning a steady income. Even if things get as bad as some predict, the majority will still have their jobs, similar to the recession of 1982, which most people have already forgotten.
You've got a choice and opportunity in this economy, if you reframe your perspective on possibilities. You can hunker down with your business, hide out and try to ride out this recession. If so, the likelihood is high that you'll be making less next year and could even threaten your business livelihood overall. Or, you can take this recession as a challenge to lead your field. You can use it to transform your marketing and growth strategies to come out on top of all the rest. Which is it? Are you aiming to be a winner? Or, simply follow the fearful pack?
It may be a perfect time for you to look at outsourcing, versus hiring, to get the extra horsepower you need to power up your marketing efforts. This is more affordable than ever and a smart move for lean small business owners. After all, you are probably very good at what you do. It is the rest that you don't normally do, like marketing, that you may need help with implementing.
Success isn't for the fearful. It is for those who believe in themselves and choose to lead the field when others fail to do so. Leading, when others lack courage and you are open to a more effective approach. Leading, when the vulnerability of not knowing a particular skill set calls for enrolling specific talent and help from others who do know the parts you may lack. For businesses to be successful long term,in any economy, requires that business owners be response-able in any economy. It means changing with the flow of constant changes in technology and the many ways it will impact your business.
These ever more rapid changes are a predictable part of business today - election year, or otherwise. Financial challenges, or not, lightening speed change is here to stay. So, why fight it. Embrace it with the great options available to you with the talents of others to support your cause. Outsource projects and use virtual assistants. Find competent coaches for the CEO who are specialists in marketing and business development. Letting technical wizards be your friend and support versus something to avoid. These are all part of effective strategies for long term business success.
In fact, if you are that leader of the pack, next year could turn into your best ever! The answers for your future business success are held in your decisions to make clients as passionate about what you offer as you are. There is no better time. Now, as always, it is up to you to make the right choices to build a case for your business!
To Your Success!
Sandra Lee is the founder of Advance Associates Inc and a Duct Tape Marketing Coach located in Arlington, Texas. Find more information online at www.profitwithsandralee.com