Many people in America are expecting owners, of small businesses, to provide the leadership and energy to guide our country out of this economic situation, thus lowering unemployment rates.. How likely we will be able to achieve these expectations rest upon more than the country’s money supply and availability of credit.
People have to have confidence in the future direction of the government and financial institutions, the availability of jobs, and the security that comes with a regular paycheck. However, there are a few things we, as business owners, can do to help. The following suggestions may strike you as being too general, but they represent the bedrock of a successful business owners approach to managing and growing a company. Further, every successful company has employed the six factors described below, to one degree or another, since the founding of our country.
To meet the challenges of our current economic crisis, business owners need to:
- Adapt to the current situation: If you haven’t rethought your costs, refocused your marketing plan, adjusted your business plan to account for shifts in the economy, you are already behind the curve. Business owners should look for ways to meet the changing needs of your customers. Start by presenting a revised pricing strategy and a new advertising and marketing program of information that addresses your customers’ current expectations.
- Anticipate future changes: As you have probably noticed, the economic landscape is shifting rapidly throughout the world. Even though, our market may be located, for the most part, in one or more counties of the Bay Area, the economic decisions reached in Europe, Asia, South America, and the Middle East are directly impacting us as well. We need to stay informed and look beyond our borders to anticipate, as best we can, how the economic decisions in other parts of the world, as well in the United States, may impact businesses tomorrow.
- Strive to insure a strong work ethic in yourself and your employees: Productivity, either by new technology or manpower, requires a constant focus on the output of the resources we have at hand. This means making sure the products and services our businesses offer achieve the results required to best meet the needs of our customers at a profit margin that will sustain a company’s viability. This will mean extra effort by everyone concerned with the business surviving.
- Enhance the general well being and education of all in your community: This should begin with you and your employees by learning as much as you can about changes occurring in your field and other areas of interest. By increasing your knowledge, you can gain an edge on your competition while improving your chances for surviving the current economic downturn. As for the rest of the community, focus on their improved awareness of educational services offered in secondary and college courses. Finally, always remain involved with the education of the youth in your community. They may very well be future employees or customers, thus their economic success will benefit your business in the future.
- Provide incentives for excellence: Set high standards for yourself and your employees, make sure you meet, or, better yet, exceed them. And, never accept excuses or explanations that are lame or inappropriate. The challenge for you and your employees is to understand the importance of the problems facing your business as well as the fragile nature of your current situation to stay afloat during these trying times.
- Encourage a sense of perseverance and frugality: Don’t quit! Hold on as long as you can, continue to find ways to shave costs, consider options to meet your customers’ needs, and look for ways to add new products or services. Of course, you have to be practical, so, focus on changes or modifications, which have a proven record of success or, to the best of your knowledge, have the highest possibility of succeeding.
Those are my thoughts. What’s your opinion on how we, as business owners, can help in solving our current economic situation? I look forward to learning your thoughts on this topic. Until next week stay positive, persevere, we will get beyond our current problems and be in a position to take advantage of the next growth cycle.