by Lisa J. Lehr
Yes, we know. The economy is bad. Recovery may be on the horizon, but no one really knows how close. Or if we can “hold out” till it happens. Yet we can each take some actions to position ourselves in the best possible way to survive a weak economy—and be at the front of the pack when it improves.
Dr. Ivan Misner, founder and chairman of BNI (Business Networking International), the world’s largest business networking organization, says that during an economic downturn “you can actually prosper…while everyone else flounders in fear.” He tells of being at a business mixer in the early 1990s, “right in the middle of a nasty recession.” As he looked around the room and listened in, he noticed that “[w]hile nearly all were commiserating with one another, very few were actually networking and working on seeking new business…,” which, of course, was the purpose of the mixer!
So, while we can’t control the economy, we can control our response to it. Dr. Misner goes on to say, “During the last recession, I watched thousands of business people grow and prosper…because they consciously made the decision to refuse to participate in a recession. They did so by developing their networking skills and learning how to build their business through word of mouth.”
I’ve heard several people in my contact sphere say they’re refusing to participate in the recession. What if everyone refused to participate? We wouldn’t have a recession!
Dr. Misner concludes, “Don’t let a bad economy be your excuse for failure. Instead, make it your opportunity to succeed. While others are looking at the problems, those of us looking for opportunities will not only get through a bad economy but will prosper.”
Here are some ideas on ways to find opportunity:
- Invite people to meetings of your business or trade group.
- Offer to speak at an industry conference.
- Send out a mailing.
- Begin an e-mail campaign.
- Write letters to the editor.
- Start a blog.
- Submit articles to trade publications and online article sites.
- Add an opt-in and an autoresponder series to your website.
- If you don’t have a website, get one.
- If you need to outsource any of these projects, do it.
Stay in front of potential customers. Whatever line of work you’re in, people still need your product or service. If you’ve made your name familiar to your target audience and established yourself as an expert in your niche, you’ll be the one they go to when they’re ready to buy—instead of your competitors. Your (former) competitors will be the ones commiserating about how the recession of the early 21st century ruined them.
Lisa J. Lehr is a writer and copywriter living in Grass Valley. She can help you promote your business with a full range of online and offline marketing pieces. A member of Empire Toastmasters, she’s available to speak to your business or professional group. Visit her website www.justrightcopy.com for more information, opt in for the message series, and receive a free Marketing Guide.