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The media is full of doom and gloom about the falling stock markets, credit crunch, financial crisis and the recession. Everyone is now starting to worry and even panic about the impact of this on their business, jobs, finances and personal life. This month's article is therefore a selection of tips to help you and your business beat the recession.
Know where you are financially. Do you know the current financial position of your business and your up to date personal financial situation? Always understand where you are financially so that you make the right decisions for your business and yourself.
Live within your means. Are you over extending your business or your personal finances or taking excessive risks? Take only manageable risks. Decide what you can afford and stick to it.
Control your cash flow. Do you know and are you in control of your business and personal cash flow? Collect money owed to you, try and re-negotiate your supplier terms, consider reducing stock levels, keep control of your costs and look at opportunities to save money.
Look after your customers. During a recession it is harder to get and retain customers. Look after your customers and provide high levels of customer service. Happy customers repeat purchase and refer new customers to you.
Keep marketing your business. Are you thinking of cutting back on your marketing? Marketing your business is just as important in an economic slowdown as in a booming economy. Get wiser with your marketing. Look at what works best and focus your efforts there.
Stand out from the competition and be different. What makes you different? Why should customers come to your business? It is harder to get each sale in a recession so look at how you can stand out from your competitors. Be different so that you get noticed.
Target the warmest prospects first. Are you spending money chasing cold prospects who have never had contact with your business before? Focus your marketing on your warmest prospects, whether these are your existing customers, previous customers, enquirers or contacts.
Look after your employees. Are you forgetting about your employees with all the other challenges you are facing? Keep your staff motivated, happy and focused on the business goals to maximise your business performance.
Diversify your product/service range. Are there opportunities to diversify your product or service range? You may see an opportunity for a new product or service created by the economic situation or you may find that one area of your business is struggling and you need to look for an alternative.
Work smart and focus on what really matters. Are you and your business efficient and effective? Improve your processes, manage your time better, plan well, keep focused on what really matters to you and your business and don't forget your work/life balance.
Keep calm and try not to panic. Are you feeling stressed, depressed or are you panicking? Keep calm, manage stress, stay focused on things that you can control, make decisions and take action to achieve your business and personal objectives.
Be creative. Are you facing new challenges in the slowdown? Think outside the box, be creative and look for innovative solutions that will make a difference.
Be positive and upbeat. Are you feeling negative and down with all the bad news around? Keep positive and upbeat. This will reflect on those around you, attract new customers and contribute to your business success.
Keep focused on your long term goals. What are your long term goals? It is easy to forget these when things get tough, but keep focused on your long term goals and this will help you take the right decisions in the short term.
Get support and help. Do you need help or support with the challenges you are facing in your business or your personal life? Don't leave it - get the support you need, whether this be from your accountant, business adviser, bank manager, financial adviser or you may want to consider having a business mentor to help you.
Author: Liz Makin
Published: October 2008
Makin It Happen has a range of personal development online courses to purchase, created by Liz Makin, including communication, resilience, time management, stress management and coaching. Liz Makin also provides personalised business coaching, business mentoring and stress management services to business owners, directors, managers and professionals.
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