By Bruce Freeman
The Small Business Professor.
When times are tough and business is down, it’s hard to remember that good times will come again. Complaining may give you some momentary relief, but it doesn’t bring customers through the door.
A positive mental attitude is absolutely the most important aspect to recovering from anything. The determination to succeed can work miracles no matter what the climate or situation. Adjust your attitude; with the right one, you can move mountains.
Bolster that positive mental attitude with positive speech. You can’t stay focused on motivating yourself or your employees if you sabotage yourself, your company or industry with negative comments.
‘OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND’
Staying connected is critical. As the economy recovers, you want your clients, former clients, strategic partners and business associates to remember you first when services and products are needed. Slow times are great times to do the projects you usually put on the back burner.
-Send a postcard or email to a couple hundred industry associates with an industry tip or humorous cartoon.
-Stay current with social media: Having Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts is critical in this technological environment. Keep your posts relevant to your company’s products and services. If you cannot do it yourself, find some inexpensive help. Barter if you have to.
-Write an article or newsletter. You don’t have to be a literary genius. You just have to keep your name in front of all the people who will be in a position to purchase product or service (or recommend you to the people who do) when business picks up.
-Once a week, pick up the phone and call five industry colleagues from whom you haven’t heard recently. Just because business is slow for you doesn’t mean it’s slow for them. They may have some collateral business that could help you.
-When you speak to an industry colleague and they indicate they have no business for you, don’t say, “If you hear of anything, would you keep me in mind?” Everyone will say “yes” to be polite. Polite means good manners, which are important, but it does not mean more business. Instead, try this, “While we’re talking, I would really appreciate you’re taking a quick look though your database and giving me the names of two or three people who might be interested.” Ask for permission to use their name when you make the next call.
ABOUT THE WRITER
Bruce Freeman, an adjunct professor and co-author of “Birthing the Elephant” (Random House), is president of ProLine Communications.