Tuesday, November 1, 2011

What Do You Do When There's Nothing To Do?

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Many business owners, especially in the current economic environment, are faced with some tough questions.

They struggle with the hard decisions and trying to weigh the tasks that are thrust upon them on a daily basis.
  • Will business pick up next week, or will it be another month or so before things turn around?
  • Do I layoff half of my staff or do I eliminate some of the employee benefits to cover my payroll for another month or two?
  • My phone has not rang all week, I don't have any work for my employees, what do I do now?
  • What can I do to find more business?
  • How do I cut production costs without sacrificing quality?
  • What off-the-wall government regulation am I now going to have to comply with in order to stay in business another six months?

First off, take a deep breath, hold it, now exhale slowly. Give yourself permission to relax just a little bit.

Take some time to analyze exactly where your business is at now. Then think back to when you were just getting started in business...
  • What did you do to make it grow?
  • What was the foundation that you put in place to make it work?
  • Who did you surround yourself with for support?
  • Who was an integral part of your team? Are they still part of your team? If not, can you bring them back on board? Should you bring them back on board?
  • What philosophies, thought processes, values, and techniques did you have in the beginning that you've let go by the wayside? Do you need to revisit or revive any of those or do you now have better ones in place?

Now, write down exactly what it will take to get your business where you want it to be.

  • How many new clients? How many closed sales? How many referrals?
  • How much revenue do you need? How much profit?
  • How soon do you need it to be there? Don't just say "as soon as possible..." Write down a deadline.

Honestly assess whether or not you can do what is necessary to get your business to the place you want/need it to be by the deadline you've set.

If you can - then do it. Start right now and attack the gameplan you've just laid out.

If you can't - then you've got to do some further analysis.
  • Can you realistically move out your deadline to accomplish your goals and still operate your business at full or, at least current, capacity? 
  • Can you expand into other markets or related industries to create new opportunities for revenue? 
  • Can you expand into other cities and connect with potential clients there?

It may be a bit of a cliche, but there is a lot of truth in the statement "Where there's a will, there's a way." Just because things look bad right now, does not mean that there is not a solution. If you really think about what needs to be done, without letting the stress and anxiety of the situation take control, you can find the answer you are looking for. You may even find more than one solution to your problem.

Good Luck. We're all in this together. I'll be pulling for you.

How have you made it through times that were a little too lean for your liking?

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