I once conceived an idea (probably not original, but original to me) for a self help book that consisted entire of one line repeated over and over on each page of the book. Here is the line Do it yourself. Do it yourself. Do it yourself. You get the idea, that no amount of self help information will be of any practical purpose if it is not put into action. While a self help book consisting of only one sentence might be tantamount to anarchy for a segment of the publishing industry, It has a modicum of truth. It goes without saying that these are strange economic times. If our entire financial system is presently being renegotiated and reinvented, then where does small business reside in the pecking order?
The least obvious answer is At the top! For small business is really the economic engine that drives the health and well-being for most countries. A countries economy is measured by their economic output or Gross Domestic Product, but it is entirely comprised of small business owners like yourself. Stated simply, the health of your business has a direct impact on the health of your neighborhood, your city and ultimately your country. Having said that, don’t hold your breathe for a bailout cheque. they’re reserved for the businesses that made the biggest mistakes! Here are some things to keep in mind while negotiating these tough times.
Keep Your Eye on the Ball Stay focused on the things that matter. Everything can be a distraction if you let become one. Set your goals and commit them to a calendar. It’s the only way you’ll be able to measure success or failure. Stay committed to your plan, but know when something is not working. It can always be changed.
Connect the Dots Of course you have to be able to see the dots in order to connect them. Never miss a chance or opportunity to grow your business. Warren Buffet will tell you he made most of his money when times were tough.
Get Perspective Get outside of your business any way you can. Ask a colleague for input. Being immersed in a problem is the hardest position from which to solve it. The forest for the trees cliche rings true.
Stay Connected You cant sell to yourself, Now is definitely not the time to hibernate! Knowing The Risks Take the time to familiarize yourself with the inherent risks to all the actions you take. Remember, inaction is a risk in and of itself! Acting rationally rather than reacting spontaneously is the order of the day. The solution to most problems often lies in the question. If reckless spending has put you in a hole, it’s only reigning it in that’ll get you out. This is true in most cases unless your a federal government. We’ll soon see where spending your way out of a problem gets you.
Offer before Asking Doors magically open when you offer to help or lend support to others. Not only will you feel better, you open yourself up to the unexpected good things that can happen. Always be cognizant that good things still happen in bad times.
Be Humble Remember that business cycles. Keep your words palatable, always, you never know when you have to eat them.
Get the Bad News up Front Have you ever noticed that in the media, the bad news is always sugar-coated? Sure it can always be worse, but sometimes things are bad enough that immediate action is required. Do not underestimate the size of a problem! Also, in the same vein, don’t use past experience to predict the future. This time it really is different!