One of the silver linings to a bad economy is that it forces us to grow as entrepreneurs. Innovation is what drives business growth. In other words, doing something BETTER adds value to people’s lives, and that’s what gets them to open their wallets and buy from you.
In good times, we all get a little lazy. Why innovate when we don’t have to, right? But as they say, necessity is the mother of invention. And when the survival of your business is at stake, that’s some damn good necessity!
When innovating, remember that there are two perspectives. On one side of the table is the seller. On the other side of the table is the customer. Let’s first look at the “bad economy” situation from your customers’ side of the table…
Provide the Most Valuable Solutions
Your customers are not interested in your products or services. They ARE interested in solutions to their problems. So your job is to solve the problems of your target market. And no matter what those problems are, a struggling economy will tend to make them worse. So the solutions you provide are needed even more. But, there are many others who provide similar solutions, so you need a way to stand out.
In my opinion, the best way to stand out from your competition is to do things BETTER than they do. In other words, create more value for your target market than your competitors do. To create the most value for your customers, you need to maximize your productivity. In other words, they will choose you if you produce solutions to their problems more effectively than anyone else.
Now let’s look at the situation from your side of the table…
Focus on Your Customer’s Problems, Not Your Own
In a good economy, a business can hang up their shingle, and as long as you provide a decent product or service, customers will buy from you. In a bad economy, people tighten their belts and don’t spend so easily. As I’ve already pointed out, they may still need your product or service (maybe even more so), but they are afraid to buy it.
So your job is to communicate better. And communication includes two parts: listening and speaking. Start by becoming a better listener. Listen to what your customers’ fears are, listen to what they really want, and listen to how they want it.
Now let me ask you a question: How well do you listen when YOU’RE stressed or fearful? Not very well, right? The more peaceful you are, the better you’ll be able to listen to your customers and really HEAR how they need you. And once you know that, then you can educate them on how perfectly suited your product or service is to solve their problems.
To summarize how to grow your business in a bad economy:
- Increase your productivity so you can create even more valuable products and services for your target market
- Cultivate your inner peace and confidence so you can listen better to your market and hear what their fears and problems are
- Educate your market on how YOU are perfectly suited to solve their problems
The entrepreneurs who thrive in a bad economy are the ones who respond most quickly to the needs of their market. This ability to respond (your response-ability) is magnified tremendously by the practice of Peaceful Productivity.
Productivity is a learnable skill. Peace of mind is a learnable skill. Do the response-able thing for your business, and sign up for this week’s free teleseminar called “Productivity & Peace of Mind — You Don’t Have to Sacrifice One for the Other.” You’ll learn:
- The 3 steps to increase your productivity
- The 3 steps to greater peace of mind
- The 2 paths to Peaceful Productivity
- And lots more…
Keep in mind, the businesses that thrive in a bad economy will likely become the leaders in their industry when the economy gets booming again. This is an awesome opportunity to really grow as an entrepreneur!
Learn more about this free teleseminar, and sign up today:
©2008 Curtis G. Schmitt
This is the third in a daily series of five posts on how to respond to this mixture of hope and fear in the world today. Here’s the full list:
- Commit to Change
- Keep Your Job and Prosper (for busy professionals)
- Grow Your Business in a Bad Economy (for entrepreneurs)
- Avoid Layoffs and Down-sizing (for business owners & executives)
- Shape Your Child’s Future (for working parents)