When the going gets tough, the tough create opportunities

October 14, 2010

The spending review presents entrepreneurs with some different opportunities, the strong will look for opportunities, the weak will fall into insignificance or even become extinct. This is Darwin’s theories applied to economics and in the jungle of business the survival of the fittest is a rule that determines not only who rules the market, but who increases their share in the market and who goes out of business. So as entrepreneur, what can you do to increase your profits, increase your market share and even dominate your field.


Households and business have mirrored government spending in recent years with families and businesses borrowing way beyond capacity with no contingency factor for an economic shift. In NLP this is ignoring a deeper represented problem and glossing over it with superficial representations. We know by now, ignoring a problem will not make it go away, but by recognising there is problem offers an opportunity to do something different. Mirror George Osborne’s spending review on your own budget. The government did an extensive analysis of the current situation and projected situation before they took action. In good times we get carried away signing up for various unnecessary things and lose sense of the importance of analysis and projections. Use this opportunity to conduct your own extensive analysis and projections and make your own cuts in your unnecessary personal and business spending. As well as cutting back on spending renegotiate your current arrangements with all your suppliers.


It’s easy to make money in good times, customers seek out suppliers. In down times customers know it’s a buyer’s market and demand more from suppliers. In down times customers need to be sold to. Businesses should be thinking about a robust sales strategy that enables the business to remain successful and increase their sales. Top sales people continue to develop their skills in prospecting, rapport building, networking and closing so they are true sales professionals.


In down times the rules of business change, clients use the ‘recession’ as an excuse to change the way they do business. Customers start to shop around, loyalty is less important and price increases in priority. Strengthen your customer loyalty by staying in touch regularly and offering loyalty rewards. On the other side of the coin, proactively prospect your competitor’s clients. You will win business particularly if your competitor isn’t responding proactively to down times. Think of something creative to pull your competitors’ clients to you.


This doesn’t mean lowering your price on a single unit, but you can package a really excellent offer for multiple purchases. So you can run a promotion where the customer buys one and gets the second product at 50% (providing your margins allow such an offer). People love a bargain and will buy the second product even if they don’t need it. This means your customer gets a great deal on the units purchased and you make more money because you are selling more units.


Find businesses whose product complements yours but does not conflict. You can share mailing lists. You can also bundle your products for mutual benefit. There has to be an equal gain i.e. you gain customers from the other business and visa versa.


What can you sell or re-launch? Do you have any left over stock from an old product line? You could re-launch the stock as a limited edition vintage offer. Products go through phases of being leading edge, modern, normal, yesterday’s product, out of date (old hat) and then vintage. Vintage is cool. There are many other creative ways you can create businesses.


People like to be around positive people. There is enough doom and gloom out there without you adding to it. You will never make money in tough times by being negative or by focussing on negative things. You make money by seeing new opportunities and creating new opportunities. Your positivity will then flow through your company and brand. Clients will get a sense there is something different about you and want to remain your client. Continue to flow the positivity.

The mindset of a successful entrepreneur is very different in lean times than that in buoyant times.  Any Tom, Dick and Henrietta can make money when the going is good, but when the going gets tough, the tough more creative. So in terms evolutionary terms are you fit enough to survive and thrive and if not what can you do now to toughen up and get creative.

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