Drumming up Business
Are you a small entrepreneur desperate for more business? Could you use at least one fresh idea – that works – to survive this economic downturn? First, although old, its’ fresh – network your little heart out. Networking is the only solution in a slowing economy – outside of throwing up your hands and quitting. It is more effective for the smaller business than the big corporations, but there is a right way and a wasteful way to network. Join the local Chamber of Commerce – maybe two of them – or an association related to your business. You could start your own group of small businesses. Just joining won’t work. The key to successful networking is showing up at every meeting so your face and your business it represents become known. Networking is less expensive than ad space in the paper or a local magazine, but the principle of success - repetition - is the same. Success will elude you if all you do is pay so your name shows up on a membership roster. But if you consistently attend that one hour per month or week, you will eventually reap the rewards. Second, is your business the type that could collaborate with a competitor on a large project? Many small businesses are operating at bare bones. If two owner-competitors could collaborate on a major project – in writing – could this keep the doors of both businesses open? In smaller communities, many business owners – competitors – have known each other since childhood. They know whom they can trust and whom they can’t. Consider this a unique form of networking. Collaboration works with the right combination. I have personally seen this kind of collaboration succeed in the past. Third, be careful about buying into how terrible everything is for the small business owner. When we believe too much of the media hype, we make decisions, take action or don’t take action because “it’s really bad out there, so how can a little guy like me make it?” The little guy has a better chance of surviving than the huge corporations. We don’t have the overhead and pork they support. Remember, it was the small businesses that built this country - not the IBM’s of our nation today.