How to beat this economic slowdown

“The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” Winston Churchill

If you’ve read a newspaper or watched the TV news recently, it’s all doom and gloom about the economy. And it’s causing most business owners to do just the opposite of what they should be doing right now. I hope you’re not one of them.

Companies large and small are canceling plans to introduce new products or services and are cutting back on marketing. Cost-cutting seems to be the management order of the day. This is exactly the wrong thing to do.

Now is the time to be bold and take action to grow your sales and business.

Think about it. When are your prospects more likely to see and respond to your marketing – in boom times when they’re being bombarded with advertising and promotions, or in lean times when your competitors stop contacting them?

NOW is the best time to grow your business. Your competitors have slowed down. They won’t be contacting your prospects or even their own clients as often. Now more than ever, it’s easier for you to get attention with direct response advertising, direct mail, education-based marketing, PR, seminars, innovative promotions and online marketing, especially e-mails. Now is the time to sharpen your marketing and sales skills and the tools that you use. Commit to becoming good at marketing.

If you paid attention to everything you saw in the news about the economy it could send you into a spiral of depression. But before you give up on your future, remember that the majority of people still need products and services to survive.

That’s the good news, and it gets even better. In a negative and uncertain economy, many, if not most people, have more disposable income (Yes! You’ve read correctly). They get a kind of buying apathy and put off major big ticket purchases, like a second home, a new car or an expensive overseas holiday. That means they have more money in the bank for everything else.

You’ve got a choice. Like most people, you can develop a passive marketing mindset with your business and try to simply survive this downturn. If you choose this approach, there is a very good chance that you’ll be making less revenue or profits in 2009.

Or you can take this slowdown as a challenge. You can use it to transform your mindset, your marketing, your business and come out on top. Are you aiming to just survive or thrive during this slowdown? The choice is yours.

Dedicate yourself to improving your business. Work on every aspect of it with meticulous thought and passion. Be devoted to achieving one small improvement every single week without fail. In just 52 weeks from now, you’ll be a profoundly improved company.

“A focus on cost-cutting and efficiency has helped many organizations weather the downturn, but this approach will ultimately render them obsolete. Only the constant pursuit of innovation can ensure long-term success.” – Daniel Muzyka, Dean, Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia

John Lloyd is a business growth strategist, award-winning marketer, speaker, trainer, columnist and author of the book Smart Thinking for Crazy Times.     

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