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When tough times strike my heart goes out to those businesses on the edge, and of course instead of talking about daily things that can trip up a marginal business, we are now talking about bigger fundamental global meltdown type trip ups.

So when the going gets tough how many of the businesses on the edge have a debt reserve fund, or a plan b, or an innovative structure, system, marketing plan etc to get them out of the jam? probably too few. Then on the business front, if they are a “want” type of business do they have their fingers in the pie of a “needs based” business to be able to handle the changing spend patterns of consumers… probably not.

Here’s 8 quick points to give you the edge in tough times.

  1. Have a plan A, then have a plan B, just in case!
  2. Have some reserves, stuff happens so be ready for downturns.
  3. Needs based V’s Want based, if you sell gifts for example, you might want to look at developing a needs based business to complement it, this way you cover your butt when customers walk away from the niceties. Consider diversifying into an online business of some kind that is easy to manage from your want based business, get busy while it’s quiet.
  4. Keep marketing, but make sure it’s making you money, don’t throw money out and get NOTHING back, measure it carefully, get smart about how it works.
  5. Keep the team informed, fear can run deep and fast, let them know what you are doing or plan to do to weather the storm. Batten down the hatches but make sure they know where the exits are…
  6. Lead, now more than ever the team needs you, teach them GREAT customer service, if people get picky¬† you need to have the BEST people upfront, with the BEST service, now more than ever. Get out on the floor and look for gaps, are they smiling, are they happy, do they know the products and or services inside and out? No? train them…
  7. Be nimble, change is a given so learn to love it, zig when the others lag or zag. This way you can be there when the others have fallen by the wayside.
  8. Improve your systems, now is a great time to tighten up on how things tick over, ask hard questions like “Are we doing things the best way?” “How can I jump start and or utilise my peoples collective intelligence to give us a lasting edge?”

You get the idea, make a difference, a poisitive difference so your business can take on the challenges tough times provide and see it through successfully. So jump up to the whiteboard and make a start NOW!

Steve Gray - Steve is a business educator - Trainer - Speaker (Steve Gray.biz). You can get his Leadership E Book from http://theleadershipguy.com.au The info provided in these articles is for educational purposes only and is intended as a starting point for you to build your business from, not as specific advice.
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