You vs. The Economy
By Nora D Richardson on November 21, 2011
Featured Member Post
Is the economy holding you back – or is it just you?
Though the economy is improving, I still hear a lot of freelancers and small business owners out there blaming the “bad economy” for their current business woes. Now, that’s not to say that the recent economic downturn didn’t have a substantial effect on many businesses; however, now that we’re on the upswing, it’s time to rev up and get back in the game! No excuses – now is a great time to reevaluate your business and to reexamine how you position your business within your industry.
Credit Image: womans foot with chain via Shutterstock
Times They Are A Changin’
I’m fortunate enough to be able to talk to a variety of people nearly every day about their companies, their industries and about how the economy has affected each. I’ve heard a variety of opinions and insights, but one particular notion keeps popping up…
It seems like many of those business owners who’ve suffered the most both during the downturn (and beyond) are highly resistant to change. I’ve heard things like, “I’ve been running my business the same way since 1977 and I’ll continue to stand the test of time.”
In today’s incredibly fast-paced technological age, you absolutely must get ahead of the curve. Use that creativity and drive that allowed you to start your own business in the first place to revive your business in new and exciting ways. Those business owners who make a point of constantly repositioning and reevaluating their business practices in a tough economy are those who see continued success!
See Opportunities Everywhere
Take me for example. A few years ago I was a freelance graphic designer. I created logos and brands, brochures and signage – basically, I did everything I do now. Now, when “they” said the economy was bad, I decided not to think of the negative implications, but rather, I decided that this could be an opportunity.
So, I repositioned myself as a Brand Identity Designer, instead of just a mere graphic artist. At a time when many companies were willing to hire outside consultants to save money and complete projects more quickly, this strategy worked greatly in my favor. If I hadn’t taken the time to reevaluate my value proposition and my target market, I might have missed the opportunity to gain more business.
And it really did make all the difference. I’m now doing the same type of work and I’m offering the same quality of work, but I am valued more. Because I was flexible when the economy was rigid, I now have an increased workload, increased income and I am close to increasing my staff – ALL in THIS economy. So, my business is growing because I didn’t just blame the economy; I saw it as an opportunity.
Are you ready to look for new business opportunities? Here are some ideas to get you thinking:
- Use this time to reinvent yourself. Think about what you and your company are really offering. What is your value proposition? In what areas do you really excel?
- Evaluate your competitors. What do they do well? What are their weaknesses?
- Offer your customers a satisfaction survey to find out what they think you do and what they thinkyou really offer. Find out why they keep coming back.
- Analyze your industry. How can you reposition yourself as an industry of one?
Be creative! When you use your imagination, you’re sure to find new ways to fill in the gaps where your competitors are lacking – find that niche and you’ll really thrive, regardless of the state of the economy!
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