Your Business for the Economic Recovery
With a positive attitude and a little creativity, you'll come out ahead
(Entrepreneur Magazine's website).May 6, 2002
By Bruce Freeman
When times are tough and business is down,
it's hard to remember that good times will come again. Closing your office
door, putting your feet up and remembering the glory days of the 90's
does absolutely no good. Complaining may give you some momentary relief,
but it doesn't bring customers through the door. A positive mental attitude
is absolutely the most important aspect to recovering from anything. The
determination to succeed can work miracles no matter what the climate
or situation. Adjust your attitude; with the right one, you can move mountains.
Bolster that positive mental attitude with
positive speech. You can't stay focused on motivating yourself or your
employees if you sabotage yourself, your company or industry with negative
comments. If you need to reduce your anxiety by communicating your misery
or speaking your fears, put them on paper. When you've gotten your troubles
off your chest, tear that paper up and move on. When you see them on paper,
you'll probably realize that your anxiety was out of proportion to your
real situation anyway.
"Out of sight,
out of mind." Staying connected is critical. As the economy recovers,
you want your clients, former clients, strategic partners and business
associates to remember you first when services and products are needed.
Slow times are great times to do the projects you usually put on the back
- Send a postcard or letter to a couple
of hundred industry associates with an industry tip or humorous cartoon.
- Write an article or newsletter. You don't
have to be a literary genius. You just have to keep your name in front
of all the people who will be in a position to purchase product or service
(or recommend you to the people who do) when business picks up.
- Once a week, pick up the phone and call
five industry colleagues from whom you haven't heard recently. Just
because business is slow for you doesn't mean it's slow for them. They
may have some collateral business that could help you.
- When you speak to an industry colleague
and they indicate they have no business for you, do NOT say, "If
you hear of anything, would you keep me in mind?" Everyone will
say "yes" to be polite. Polite means good manners, which are
important, but it does not mean more business. Instead, try this, "While
we're talking, I would really appreciate you're taking a quick look
though your database and giving me the names of two or three people
who might be interested." Ask for permission to use their name
when you make the next call.
Stay involved. When business is off, your
mind tends to wander. Judge Judy may make great afternoon court TV decisions
but they may not impact favorably on your business.
- Take a few hundred business cards and
go to a trade show in your industry. Go to each booth, hand the company
representative a card and merely say,"What are you showing today?"
Most representatives at a trade show booth are sales oriented and you
won't have to say much more. When they follow up after the trade show,
ask them for other company contacts after they try to sell you.
- Call a few other business associates and
set up a regular weekly lunch.
This will help keep your mind off your own misery.
- Join a community group. Become an officer
of a trade association. Become active in helping your children's school.
You never know where the next piece of business will come from.
No one is going to do it for you. Your measure is taken when times are
tough. Do your homework, stay connected to your industry's pulse and stay
involved in the effort to move forward. Don't give up, and most important,
know deep inside, that you are going to come out on top.