Monday, June 20, 2011

It Isn't the Economy, Stupid

Overcoming the Economy …... No Excuses

Almost without exception, our businesses aren’t large enough for us to convincingly blame the economy for our circumstances right now. I have had phone calls from every imaginable kind of business suffering during this downturn. In almost every single case, the real reasons for their dire straits can be summarized as follows:

Making Money From the Last Recession
1. No Marketing At All - In most cases older businesses have completely forgotten how hard they worked to get their sales up to 2006 levels. They stopped marketing and the world changed.
2. No Dexterity - No business niche stays the same for a year much less a decade. New product or service decisions can cost money and involve risk, but companies need to stay fresh. Staying with outdated products or services is the riskiest of all.
3. No One Is Selling - Some one in your organization needs to be able to close the deal. Order taking might work at the height of the economic curve, and even then I don't recommend it, but right now sales folks should be the most critical hire you make.
4. Owner is Internet Challenged - If the owner is unwilling to keep up with rapid-fire changes in online marketing and computer based business practices, someone on the staff better have that job.
5. Exhaustion - Pushing a rock uphill is no fun at all. Especially if you're doing it all alone. Every business owner in this climate needs someone to help with the pushing, and provide some optimism on a bad day.

On the other hand I have a long list of clients who are up substantially in sales and profits since 2008. My own company has grown from a one person business with 8-12 clients to a solid company with 30 clients and nine associates making some or all of their living from our business.

If you're blaming something or someone for your lackluster or downright horrible sales performance, review the list. What adjustment can you make this week to break out of the slump.

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