The Silver Lining Around This Financial Cloud

The Silver Lining Around This Financial CloudI’ve been meeting with a lot of very interesting business owners lately. People are dealing with all kinds of challenges, but of course the economy is hanging over every decision. It’s increased pressures on many dimensions, both personally and in business.

But there’s some key things we need to remember about these times. First, EVERYONE has to deal with the economy. It’s not like the planet is beating you up personally, even though it feels it sometimes. Your competitors are dealing with the same situation, as are your partners, suppliers, and customers. So don’t take the entire weight of the world on your shoulders.

Second, customers are more price-sensitive than they were 5 or 10 years ago. They’ve always been sensitive to the tradeoff between price and value, it’s just that the balance has shifted towards price. That doesn’t mean people don’t care about quality and value anymore – in fact, I’ve spoken with many quality-oriented businesses that are starting to see the balance shift back a little. It will change slowly, so make sure that you have some good deals for those customers who have to pinch pennies. There’s lots of them. If you develop a good relationship now, they’ll continue buying from you as things recover.

Third, recognise that a time of turmoil always rewards creativity. It’s quite exciting to talk with so many people who are trying innovative things – switching over to cheaper digital media for their marketing and customer service, or combining products into new bundles and packages, or restructuring their services. What these people are discovering is that these ideas would have had great value ANYWAY, it’s just that the economic stress forced them to ask the tough questions and get creative. They’re doing things which are different, which make them stand out from the competition.

And remember to take time to work ON your business. This stressful situation can cause you to try to work 24/7 – yes, even while you’re sleeping. But take some time to think about the larger picture, what will sustain you for the long term.

Car Dierschow
Small Fish Business Coaching Fort Collins

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