Surviving In A Tough Economy

Jun 10, 2010

I spend a good bit of time meeting with business owners and discussing their particular “Strength of the Franchise”.  While some businesses are starting to see small shoots of new growth, there is still a lot of ground to cover in order to reach their former status pre-recession.

What I find interesting is that while the industry may change, and the target market may differ slightly (businesses or consumers or a mix of both), the things that are working seem to be relatively consistent.

With this in mind, I wanted to share some of the topics that seem to be recurring:

1.       Reputation is everything – whether you are a business owner or an individual seeking employment, it’s really more about who you know than what you’ve done.  If you provide a good value to your customers and word gets around, you will benefit from increases in your business because people are coming to know and trust you.  You need to actively cultivate relationships, partner with complimentary vendors, and consider hosting low cost, joint IN PERSON marketing events.

2.       Continue to set goals and track progress – your goals may be different today than they were two years ago, but you should still have goals.  Keeping a portion of your attention on the future will help you to make the right decisions today.  It will also motivate your staff if they see you working not just IN your business, but ON your business.  And excited, motivated manager creates a greater sense of accountability and unity among their staff

3.       Value your employees – remember that you can’t do it alone and you’ve hired intelligent, competent staff to help support your goals.  Do what you can to reward your team and you will reap long lasting benefits by retaining your staff into the recovery.

4.       Maintain a positive attitude – chances are good that you’re in business because you’ve found something you’re passionate about to do.  You may be running leaner and you may be experiencing profitability challenges, but seek to find the positive.  Trust the advice of experts while retaining your initial enthusiasm and spirit.  As my Mother always told me, “This too shall pass”.


A collection of books from B2B CFO® to help any business succeed. Read the first chapter from books, including the Wall Street Journal’s book, for free.