Are Small Businesses Really Viable in 21st Century?
My business is very slow right now. I’m okay financially – at least for the foreseeable future – but am wondering if I should chuck the business and do something else. Do you have any thoughts about small businesses like mine? Obviously, I don’t have a lot of particulars which would allow me to give you concrete advice, but if I can believe the phrases “I’m okay financially – at least for the foreseeable future”, I do have a different perspective on your present situation. What a wonderful opportunity you have right now to re-evaluate your business plans, marketing strategies, employment policies and customer services. Rather than stand around “wishing” someone would walk through the doors, get creative about how to “draw” customers through the doors. And further, think up unique ways that won’t cost you money to keep the customer coming back month after month, year after year. It’s generally not the brand new customer that is responsible for building a long-term business relationship – it’s that returning customer who tells everyone else about how great you are. Many business owners are wringing their hands and believing every news spot on television that insists the sky is falling. I’m not suggesting that times aren’t difficult. They are tough, but they are certainly not impossible. I firmly believe that every downturn in business has a hidden opportunity in it somewhere. It’s the business owner’s responsibility to look for it. The obvious one for you is the additional time you now have. Do things such as: • Update your client data information • Perhaps your bookkeeping system could use a facelift • Catch up on all your filing • Review employee benefits and possibly update to save money for you and the employee • Spruce up the business location – paint, put in plants, wash windows and change the light bulbs • Re-line the parking lot • Offer hot coffee and a sweet treat when customers come in out of the cold • Determine which products you could apply a deep discount to and get the word out there • Package your business more attractively (signs, flyers, logo’s) These are just a few things that could really escalate business sooner and certainly put you in the black once the economy turns around. Don’t allow yourself to sit around worrying about things you have no control over. You can’t control what happens with the auto industry or AIG, but you certainly have some control over your business.