10 Strategies to Break Through in This Economy
Strategy # 1
Our first Strategy is the most important one because it is one of mindset. It is the personal and powerful decision you have as to how you are going to look at the circumstances you find yourself in, such as the economy you face, or the environment of marketing and sales. It is rough out there and it is tough, businesses are failing all around, but there is money to make and opportunities to be captured.
The Chinese said it best in the word Crisis. It is composed of two characters: Danger and Opportunity.
Wouldn’t you rather have the opportunity to consider possibility and hope than be blinded by your own inability to see? And to make matters even worse, to experience suffering while you are being blinded? For example, in the recession of 1981 and 1982, in a McGraw-Hill study* was conducted of 600 companies. The companies (less than 25 out of the ones that were studied) that chose to market aggressively during that recession saw five years of exponential growth (286%) while the ones that didn’t suffered for significantly long periods of time and many went out of business.
That can be a danger of looking through the glass of half empty – becoming blind to our possibilities and opportunities. If you close yourself to possibilities and opportunities with a stubborn attitude of “it can’t happen to me,” or “We will ride this one out like we did in the 90’s,” you will miss the golden opportunities that are out there to be captured.
But, if your mindset is one of opportunity and hope, you might be thinking, “What is the secret to breaking through as we have an opportunity like no other? How can we innovate, create and aggressively pursue the right opportunities at this time?”
Choosing to have a great attitude is the first strategy to change the outlook for your business so you can attract these opportunities. I have chosen to look at the circumstances of this economy through the eye glasses of opportunity and hope regardless of the danger and risk that is present.
When our attitude is right, we evaluate our options clearly and we make right decisions. When our attitude is not in the right place, we miss the possibility all together; we get stuck in the circumstances of the problem and we miss the solution.
Remember, the choice is yours. By choosing to think opportunistically and positively, opportunities and incredible choices will be out there for you. For example, with the billions of dollars being spent by the federal government right now, is it possible that your company can participate in government contracting? This might be a good question to ask if you are in a position to grow as a business and have the capacity to perform at the standard the government requires.
2. Emphasize your Core Values and Core Competencies. Core Values are the essential part of any business and for a business to survive real challenges; they must rely on their core values. Values that are so intrinsic to the organization, they will never be sacrificed or compromised. They never change; they are the foundation of the company’s existence.
The core values and core competencies are commonly called the fundamentals of business. Therefore, returning to the basics or the fundamentals of business can bring a new fresh start to a stagnate business. Core Competency is defined as focusing on what you do best and then do it BETTER than any other company. Zero in on your Core Competencies. We cannot be all things to all businesses or consumers. What is it that you do better than any other company? Create a demand in that Core Competency that has every consumer or business needing that level of excellence.
3. Answer a basic question. Can your customers, clients, employees see your passion for your business? Do they feel it, feed off it, and get excited about your business because you are excited about your business?
4. Be other focused. Look for ways to help your customers, vendors and affiliates grow their business. Give and it will come back to you. BNI calls this the Givers Gain philosophy.
5. Have a Plan – Every successful business starts with the end in mind. What does it look like when you have achieved what you desire to achieve. Write it down and make it plain. Every company that is built to last has a plan that is continually evaluated and modified.
6. No Blank Checks – Every business should be extremely diligent about what it spends money on during this economy. Each purchase and expense should be evaluated against the possible impact it has on achieving the plan and upon business growth.
7. Be Niche Market Focused – Be lazer like focused on your Niche Market and the strategies to get to them. The funds you appropriate should be directed to saturating this Niche Market. If you haven’t identified your Niche Market, do it RIGHT NOW!
8. Develop relationships with a business or person you know, like and trust that shares the common niche market, but is not a competitor. Then, develop a program to share business with each other. This becomes a life long referral source and partner for new business.
9. Build a great reputation by contributing your level of expertise in the social media venues. In this strategy, I am more concerned about building your visibility through social media by protecting your reputation when you are using social media. One with out the other is a recipe for disaster. When you post a blog, a twitter blast, or any other media broadcast, it must reflect professionalism and credibility. Irrelevant information shared with the business community could destroy your business reputation.
10. Have a professionally designed website. Many businesses have a website without a purpose. Since they don’t know what they want to use the website for, it doesn’t have any impact on their business. It is critical to know why you have a website. If you are not selling on the website as in a commodity or local service, then most likely your website is designed for potential clients to evaluate your credibility and professionalism.
*• 1981-1982 Recession Years – McGraw-Hill Research’s Laboratory of Advertising Performance studied recessions in the United States. Following the 1981-1982 recessions, it analyzed the performance of 600 industrial companies during the economic downturn. It found that “business-to-business firms that maintained or increased their marketing expenditures during the 1981-1982 recession averaged significantly higher sales growth both during the recession and for the following three years than those which eliminated or decreased marketing.”
1. McGraw Hill Research Laboratory for Advertising Performance analyzed the performance of 600 industrial companies during the recession of 1980-1981. The findings were published in the report: Laboratory of Advertising Performance Report 5262. It should be noted that these were business- to-business companies. The findings state that “business-to-business firms that maintained or increased advertising during the 1980-1981 recession averaged significantly higher sales growth during the recession and for the following three years than those which eliminated or decreased advertising.” From 1980 to 1985, those companies that chose not to reduce marketing spending during the two recession years collectively increased sales by between 16 and 80 percent.
10 Strategies to Break Through in This Economy