I subscribe to a few business newsletters. Most of them are information services only, but one of them, in addition to providing commentary, opens itself to feedback from subscribers.
The subject of a newsletter article that caught my eye recently was: “How to Survive the Inevitable Business Downcycle.” One of the responses to the suggestions made in the article came from a fellow who was indeed experiencing a downturn in his business. He mentioned that he was at a point where things were like he was starting all over again. He concluded his comments with this: “I guess it’s just the rotten economy, or at least that’s what I’m telling myself.”
He received lots of feedback from what he wrote. Most of it was centered on his website and his perceived powerlessness. Respondents suggested a website make over and text that focused on the benefits of working with him and the problems he’s able to solve – in other words, his value to the customer. His response to this was: “I’ll just ride it out.”
One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received is that when your business is hitting on all cylinders, it’s time to freshen it up with new programs, services, promotions and value. If not, clients may very well decide that it’s not about working with you anymore, but about buying the services of somebody else doing these very things.
Great businesses thrive in a bad economy all the time by eschewing a mindset that it’s ever okay to do nothing and be held hostage to vagaries of market forces.
I hope that the fellow I mentioned above goes back and reevaluates the excellent advice he received – for free.
It’s easy to cede our personal power for changing and improving to external forces. But these “forces” really aren’t the problem, are they?