Layoffs, bankruptcies and business closings top the headlines.
It’s not just small business that’s looking for ways to survive either.
Big name companies like GM, Ford, CitiBank, Wells Fargo and Chrysler have been in the fight of their lives.
Others like Starbucks, Office Depot and Sharper Image have closed numerous retail locations. While some, like Circuit City, have shut the doors on all their stores for good.
The warning signs are everywhere. It is time to take definitive action. But, what is there to do? In what ways can you help your small business survive this economic recession?
Diagnosing the business issues and developing a plan to survive
I have some friends and family members that own small businesses. They tell me things are very slow. In fact, one family member that has worked for himself for over 15 years recently had to take a job to make ends meet.
I’ve been a business owner too and I know how hard it can be. This economic recession has to make things just that much harder.
This week, I ran across some excellent information that I think might help.
Let me share with you 3 ways a small business owner can help their company survive.
1. Try stuff to make sure your business is NOT invisible
As a small company, you do not have the advertising budget the big guys have. In good times, you get enough business to survive and maybe even to do pretty well without having to advertise.
However, when the economy slows down, you have to work a little harder to make sure people notice you. It is very easy for a small business to become invisible and go unnoticed especially during an economic recession.
I absolutely love the example that Havi wrote about in It’s not the economy. Read this story!
Here’s a little preview! Havi walked by a store every single day for a year, but never noticed it until she saw the enormous “going out of business” sign. The sign got her attention. She went in and loved the store. Too bad it is closing.
Now I’m not telling you to go by a bigger sign, but do something to get noticed. Do more than you ever have before!
Picture yourself as a Who in Whoville like in Horton hears a Who. Disaster is imminent and your only hope is to somehow communicate with the elephant out there. How are you going to reach him? He is your only hope!
2. Try things that you’ve never tried before (think outside the box)
I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again. Doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results is crazy!
If what you’ve always done to promote your business is not working anymore, then it is time to try something new!
I know this is difficult and scary, but so is riding the ship to the bottom.
You can no longer wait for customers to come to you. You have to go find them and use creative means to get them to familiarize themselves with what you offer.
Find sources of inspiration! Get on the Internet and look for what others are doing that works. Reach out online and make some connections.
I saw an interesting idea just this week. Pamela wrote about it in Take back the economy. During March 9-13, she along with John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing are participating in an online small business stimulus program. Read Pamela’s article for more info!
3. Stay focused on your sweet spot (you know what it is, right?)
In his article, Blog Strategy, Job Strategy, Life Strategy, Ron describes the sweet spot as that special place where your individual strengths and passion are perfectly aligned with your customer’s needs.
The sweet spot is also a place where your competition doesn’t quite have it together. It is your niche. It is your point of greatest opportunity!
You need to be intimately familiar with your sweet spot and you need to have a single-minded focus on staying right in the middle of it.
Now is not the time to get distracted pursuing good things at the expense of what you do best. Stay centered and you’ll have a better chance of not just surviving, but thriving during this time when others are withering away!
The recession can help you or hurt you. You decide!
This economic recession may be just the jumpstart you need to really get concentrated and focused on growing your business. It may even help to knockout some of your competition!
If you make the right choices and do the right things, you might just come out of this smelling like a rose! You have what it takes. Go apply yourself and you will see the results start accumulating.
What are you doing to be sure your business survives the recession?
Photo by Ed Yourdon