Looking for Opportunity in a Challenged Economy


Now for my 6 practical ideas to help you thrive in economic winter: 

#1. KNOW AND WATCH YOUR KEY FINANCIAL NUMBERS, especially cash flow.  With tight credit and less options available for cash, you need to be keenly aware of your cash position.  It should be checked at least monthly, and maybe even weekly and daily depending on your business.  You also need to be proactive in planning your cash flow and set logical trigger points in your budget to drive your business decisions.  When the plane is in the fog, you need to fly by the instrument panel and not the way you feel. 

#2 MAKE CUSTOMER SERVICE A TOP PRIORITY.  Delivering value is imperative.  Customers will be considering what is valuable and important in their life and what is not.  Mediocre service and a lax attitude is not a good thing in any economy, but it will destroy your business in tough times.  Your current loyal customers are your lifeline – hold them close and treat them accordingly.

#3 SELL, SELL, AND SELL SOME MORE.  Now is the time for you to focus on getting that sales conversion rate through the roof and massively increase sales.  Increasing sales is the means to increasing cash flow.  If your business is near capacity, then INCREASE YOUR PRICES.  That will create more profit, increase cash flow, and also free capacity for value based (not price based) buyers.

#4 TRIM THE FAT. It’s time to take a close look at your cash flow, budget, and team and trim away the excess.  But it’s not time to get out the hatchet and start to fearfully chop and destroy your business in a panic.  You need to be a surgeon and strategically dissect away the little foxes that eat the vine. 

#5 LOOK FOR GREAT PEOPLE. The market will likely be flooded with great people looking for a job opportunity.  Many larger organizations will downsize, and turn some great people out into the market place.  If you have been challenged to find great employees in the past, this may be the time. 

#6 LOOK FOR OPPORTUNITY TO BUY DISTRESSED BUSINESSES.  There will be some great small businesses that will be for sale.  Entrepreneurs who are looking for opportunities will be ready to take advantage.

Finally, this is the time to strengthen your relationships with your business support team.  If you don’t have an accountant, financial advisor, business coach, and attorney to walk with you through this storm, go find them.  It is important that each support team member also carries an “opportunity” perspective as well.  A great set of advisors provides that outside perspective and balance to help you make the best decisions.  Champions have always surrounded themselves with great people.

So look for the abundance of opportunities in this challenging season, and get ready for a great spring!  Remember, you WILL find what you look for. 

If you would like to learn more about maximizing the performance of your business call Ohio Business Coach, Ralph Berge, 440-838-0991, Business Coach of Akron Canton.