For many businesses today, times are tough. In a struggling economy, what’s a business owner supposed to do? How do you run a business when there are no customers? How can a business succeed when money is tight and orders are few and far between?
An economic “down time” can actually be the most opportune time to work on your business. Refocus, rethink your business model, and start pushing your business in a different direction.
Work On the Business, Not Just In the Business
“Most entrepreneurs fail because you are working in your business rather than on your business,” Michael Gerber, author of The E-Myth Revisited, says. Growing your business naturally requires that you work in the business, whether it’s generating sales or manufacturing product, etc. However, getting too caught up in those day-to-day tasks can lead to a loss of direction.
The necessity of prioritizing time to work on your business cannot be overstated. So, take advantage of the down time!
Business Success Demands a Team
The question you may be asking is, “How?” Working on your business and keeping a fresh perspective is not easy. Direction from an outside source can be invaluable.
The Calgary Public Library is an excellent source of free resources for small business owners.
Another helpful option is business coaching. A good business coach or consultant can give you the fresh outside perspective you need. Slow seasons are the perfect time to invite a coach to help you plan and prepare for when things pick up again.
Plan Ahead for a Business Boom
Rick MacLennan of Macink Consulting & Coaching shares his business wisdom:
“As a business consultant I am often asked how to deal with the changing economic market we find ourselves embroiled in. My short response is not to give an answer, but to ask a question. Can you show me your Strategic Plan?
Unfortunately most of the entrepreneurs I meet are unable to produce that plan. They have a business plan somewhere that they created for the bank, but once that requirement was met, the plan was put on a shelf.
A comprehensive and well thought-out Strategic Plan becomes essential when things get tough. In fact, that plan can be a lighthouse when the horizon becomes obscured by the fog of the day to day. This living, breathing document helps to keep you focused and on track in reaching your ultimate long term goals.
Creating the Strategic Plan requires a business owner or partners to really dig deep into the ‘Why’, the ‘What’, the ‘Where’ the ‘Who’, the ‘When’ and, ultimately, the ‘How’.”
Ponder & Prepare for Business Success
Use business “down time” to think through Rick’s questions below. These will help you refocus your business and prepare for business success still to come.
… did I get into business in the first place?
… this business?
… these products or services?
… business am I really in? (This one is not as straight forward as you may first think.)
… are we going?
… are our current customers?
… else can we do business with?
… is it time to grow?
… is it time to hire?
… is it time to sell?
… are we going to achieve each of these major steps and “all of the mini steps” required to get to these major steps?
Slow But Still Productive
“Without a plan, how will you know where you’re going and when you arrive?
Now is the perfect time to take stock of your current situation and where you want to take your business. Engage someone to assist you in creating the Strategic Plan and then get started. There is no time like the present!
Here’s to your success!”
The bottom line is that slow times don’t need to be unproductive times for your business. There are plenty of opportunities and resources you can make the most of to grow your business. Take advantage of them and enjoy success!