Let's face it you have to work hard to make a buck in a small business. Given the current state of the economy and our leaders constantly talking doom and gloom, it is hard to maintain an upbeat and positive outlook, particularly when you're looking at your empty bookings diary, not hearing the phone ring and have an email inbox with half the enquires you normally get. But sitting in your business freaking out about how you're going to cover costs can actually make things worse.
So you watch the news and hear retail spending is at an all time low. For many small business owners, knowing that others are going through the same experience as you offers some consolation. But as comforting as it may be it doesn't really help pay the bills. So what can you do during these testing times to help your business? As with most small business the customers you already have are key to your success. Getting in touch with your database can be a great use of your current down time. It's not to sell, it's not to chase them for payment, but just a quick call to say hello, hope all is well and by the way we are still here ready to look after you. As a customer getting a call from the business owner is of great value to the client and will bring you to front of mind. But most importantly it will keep you positively focused on what you want.
A positive approach and focusing on what direction you want to take are very important to getting yourself over the slump. If you are focusing on doom and gloom you can easily create more doom and gloom because you're focus is on doom and gloom. It sounds a bit pie in the sky but it is the fundamental process to getting results, whether it's in your personal or business life. Creating a map of where you want to go rather than floating around like a bit of plankton will change the way you approach the way you respond to things and live your life.
So how do you maintain positivity and focus? The key is to start by setting goals – set at least one goal for the day, the week, the month, the year and so on. Be sure to make it a SMART goal and you must write it down. As an example, a goal should look like this. "It is now 6pm Wednesday the 19 November 2008 and I have made 20 phone calls to my exciting clients and hit my daily budget of at least $1450".
Then focus on this, get a picture of the last step, the thing you will be doing once you reach the goal. This is your focus allowing you to move towards what you want. Keep yourself busy doing everything that you possibly can to reach that goal. The same goes for the weekly goal, the monthly goal and the yearly goal. Put them up in a visible place so you can refer to them often. This process provides a focus, and a map of where you want to go. You'll be surprised at how soon things start to happen.
Does this work I hear you ask?. Well yes it does but you have to believe 100% you can do what you have set out to do. Any doubts will diminish you focus. For this reason it is important that your goals are realistic and achievable. Being a millionaire by the age of 30, when your 30th birthday is in a month's time is neither realistic nor achievable, unless of course you win the lotto.
Recently I had an event that I needed to fill. I set a goal that I would have the event full 2 days before the event. I sat on the phone and did a general call to all the customers I know and that I have a good relationship with. Although tight, by the afternoon before, the event was full and I even got bookings for the following month's event.
So at a time when most business owners are just losing sleep and stressing, it can be a great opportunity to get back to working on yourself and the business.