The more difficult the economy, the greater the opportunities – but only for those who are strong, well-prepared and persistent. Many people are fixated by national or even global economic turmoil and downturns. Many wait for a magic fix, only to realize it will never come and in essence die of “waiting syndrome”.
We are now in what I like to call an “eat what you kill” environment, where the people who win are those who take the initiative without waiting for permission and grab the bull by the horn and create their own success.
Don’t Be Dependent on Someone Else
Success will elude you until you realize that no one is the cause of your problems and no one can ensure you will achieve your goals. Your destiny is up to you and no one else. I began on the path to making a real difference in my professional life only after I decided I would not take the crumbs the people around me where given me as handouts and “mama and papa thank you” and would get a job no matter what I had to do. Currently in the University studying mathematics, working as a typist at a local shop was not my idea of a job, much less a career. But because I was willing to do whatever it took to begin producing and making a difference in my life, I gained the confidence that led to major career advancements.
Assume the Country is Coming to an End
Be on full alert and do not take anything, especially the security of your job, for granted. You need to make yourself so valuable to your employer that there is no way the company could consider firing you. The new economy demands a shift to an entrepreneurial mindset that goes beyond the scope of work in your job description. The most powerful thing you can do is to figure out how to drive revenue or contribute to the bottom line. You also might consider taking on a second job or starting a side business from your living room. Have a meeting about your career and finances with your family and let them know they need to pull together with you and may need to make some little or huge changes.
Be More Proactive
When I started my first business in the university, I experienced so much resistance due to a tough environment, reception and other factors that little by little I felt like giving up. It wasn’t until I tried reaching out to my fellow students and making sales calls everyday day instead of just sitting and waiting for manner to fall from heaven that I began developing traction. After that, I took a hard look at everything else I was doing and set targets to increase the activity in my struggling business tenfold. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying you aren’t already working hard, but you could make a big difference over time by finding ways to get even more done. For example, you could plan your workflow better, delegate some certain task to other people, time management or set limits on time spent in meetings.
The future is brilliant for those who are positive. Be the most optimistic person in the game, and that will separate you from others more than anything else. We live in a world rocked by a thousand little shocks interspersed with periodic economic and natural disasters. And at no time in our history, have I seen so many people turning to vices designed to relieve stresses and strains. Now, it seems that people who stay positive and have a can-do attitude are the exceptions. But you can be one of them by staying focused and learning to smile no matter the circumstances. And always have a positive mental attitude.
Now is the time to be everywhere, to be seen and talked about. Obscurity is the single biggest challenge in business. You can’t succeed if potential customers don’t know you, or existing clients are not thinking of you often enough. The good news is that you have more opportunities than ever to become omnipresent thanks to social media. You have facebook, twitter, linkedin, pinterest, periscope and much more. Get seen and be heard by the thousand if not million of prospective client looking for services you offer.
Don’t Slow Down
When business is less than brisk, it’s the perfect time to speed up your improvement plans.
Instead of drumming your fingers waiting for the next customer to drop by or call, you can, for example, take definitive steps to cut costs. And don’t forget your current customers. Strengthening client relationships helped 76 percent of small business owners make up for the lack of new business. Meanwhile, 69 percent started prospecting for new clients and 65 percent refined their business plans.
But before taking any drastic steps, however, consider this next insight.
Avoid Risky Business
In the business world, risk-takers are revered and admired. That is, when they succeed. But for entrepreneurs in an uncertain economy like ours, playing it safe may be the wiser play.
Many small businesses are managing risk and keeping their companies afloat by taking a wait-and-see approach before committing to any big strategic shifts in their operations.
Until business prospects improve, successful small businesses are taking a good hard look before they jump at exciting new growth opportunities.
There may come the time that you have to slash costs. Take a cue from The Hartford’s survey takers. Explore these avenues before making changes that may have a detrimental impact on the goods and services you offer.
Procure Peace of Mind
First things first, create a disaster preparedness plan and stick to it. Next, make sure that your insurance policy addresses your needs.
Look for business-owner policies that include business interruption. If you’re expanding geographically, make sure that your insurance provider can update your policy to account for regulations that differ from region to region.
Finally, consider your data
While most insurance companies will help small businesses rebuild their storefronts and offices after a catastrophic loss, verify that your provider can handle data loss and breaches. After all, a hacked server can shutter a company just as effectively as any super storm.
Ultimately, Follow Your Passions
Yes, it sounds like something you’d see on a cheesy motivational poster, but 81%of small business owners defined success as doing something they feel passionate about and enjoy.
Few are in it for the money. Naturally, some business acumen plays a role, so expect some hard work to accompany the joys of pursuing your dreams.
A dwindling economy is not something anyone would wish for, but let this be an opportunity for you to stand out and take market share. Don’t be afraid to show the world how passionate you are and how unwilling you are to take “no” for an answer. Know that you, your attitude and your ability to cut through the noise around you will determine your destiny and ultimately your success.
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