In the current economic climate I find Business owners, entrepreneurs and investors jittery; 6 shot latte jittery. It’s a changing world and those of us responsible for growing ventures, increasing top line and bottom lines are getting less sleep.
My advice is don’t let fear get the best of you. Don’t turn and run, don’t go on the defense; rather face your fear, embrace it; ask what the worse thing that can happen is and then Attack! Yes; I said Attack. The best defense is a mighty offense and I’m all about offense when it comes to challenges.
Now is the time to revaluate your business model. Ask yourself what it is that really makes you different in the marketplace; what consumer problems do you solve? What is it that you do best? How high is the buyer value clients receive from your product or services? How innovative are you? Now look around with all this shifting sand what are new problems your clients are experiencing? Are they in need of additional services, more value, augmented products, different services/products?
Change brings opportunity…what is it bringing you?
Cash Flow- Cash is king. What are your terms? What is the average on your aged receivables? Are receivables ballooning? What is the communication process between accounting and account service-?
My clients are managing cash better than ever, adjusting any fast and loose invoicing and estimating processes and deposits are being confirmed prior to scheduling or shipping in cases where accounts are overdue. Now more than ever, you need to make sure your cash processes and systems are in place.
Added value- with consumer confidence plummeting there’s never been a better time to differentiate yourself with added value and extra mile customer service; the doctor calling his own clients, the dry cleaner picking up and delivering clothes, the salon adding a pedicure with every haircut. Look for ways to wow your clients and to make sure they walk out the door or leave your ecommerce site; knowing they will be back. Loyal clients matter….
Your team. Great people can navigate the steepest climbs and the most intense white water. Look around you; do you have the right people on the team? No exceptions! Your people do matter; weekly coaching, development and clearly communicating the vision and the values is critical. Don’t stick your head in the sand; get out there and LEAD!
Marketing. Attack- vendors are dealing. Be creative and stretch those marketing dollars- don’t stop marketing; just do it differently. What are ways you can stay in front of your target market for less? Who has your clients? Who can you align with for creative cross promotions? How can you get clients to come more often, spend more, buy something new or send a friend?
Value is Queen; clients want to feel like they are getting ALOT MORE for their dollar…what are innovative ways for you to exceed your clients expectations in regards to value??? Now is the time to WOW!
Ask Ask Ask… Client survey’s of 2-3 sentences, customer call backs, mystery shoppers; you need to understand how well your doing on the key components to loyalty in your business.
Take the feedback and continually improve; ICAN: Improvement that is continual and never ending!
Don’t run- face the current economic climate, embrace it and Attack!
Don’t let fear; false expressions appearing real; derail you. Attack…Wisely.