Yes, it’s coming, whether you like or not, at some point this economy is going to shift. Depending on which economist you follow, it looks like the downturn will hit somewhere around end of 2020 beginning of 2021. Now before you put this article down because it’s beginning to sound like doomsday, realize that a down shift in the economy is not necessarily a bad thing.
Over the course of your business lifetime, and long before then, the economy has been going up and down. The market has been hot, cold, ripe to do business in, and a serious challenge. That is just the way it is. What goes up must come down, and what goes down will go up.
The difference between people who struggle through the downturns and the people who thrive through them merely comes down to whether you prepare for what’s coming or you don’t.
No matter how hard you will it, fight it or refuse to believe it, you have no ability to stop the economy from shifting. Rather than wasting that valuable energy on trying to stop something you can’t control, let’s turn that energy into positioning yourself to succeed no matter what the economy does.
6 Business Tactics You Need to Implement Now
- Set Focus – step one is getting clear on whom you serve, what you offer, and what differentiates you in the marketplace. One of the biggest challenges you face in a shifting economy is fear. Fear that you are not doing everything you can do, fear that you are not offering the right products, fear that your competitors have a better idea than you do – fear. You need to get clarity on what you do well, that way you do not chase every shiny object that comes down the pipe. In tough economies, resources are scarce, and margins are tight, meaning you have no money or time to waste. Set your focus!
- Get Outside Perspective – there are more things external to your business than internal, that could impact your ability to be successful. That means you need to stay alert, informed, and on top of what is happening in the outside world. As business owners and sales professionals, you get so focused on what is happening inside your business, that you forget to focus on external forces. Thinking about, and knowing what is changing with your customers, your competitors, your industry, and the economy, will position you to see what is coming. Then when you need to, you can change direction easily.
- Invest In Talent – understand the only thing that is differentiating you in this economy, the only one thing, is the talent you have around you. This is a marketplace where your reputation and the customer experience are the things that are growing your business. Ensuring you deliver on both, comes down to the level of talent you have around you. There is a war on talent, finding top talent is tough, and about to get much harder, you need to start now if you want to win.
- Increase Sales – the tougher the economy, the longer the sales cycle. The two go hand-in-hand, so you need to be prepared. To succeed in a challenging economy, you need to be selling from a place of power, never from a place of need. It is time to start overfilling your sales funnel, having so much moving through the pipeline that if a deal slows down or goes south, you can remain calm and collected. Remember, when the economy goes down, customers want to deal with professionals who are confident and secure, not ones desperate to make a sale.
- Lockdown Top Customers – your best customers are always your competitors’ best prospects, and even more so in a shifting economy. Don’t leave the door open, don’t invite them in. Make a list of your best customers and put yourself on a consistent schedule of staying in touch with them. Then take it one more step and be proactive. Don’t wait for them to come up with ideas of how to do more business with you, stay one-step ahead.
- Create Partnerships – and last but not least, (at least for this blog – I got lots more ideas), reach out and align with other influential professionals. Take a look around you and see who else in related industries, community leadership and industry influencers you need to know, connect with and create solid partnerships.
Economic shifts are merely a normal part of business, and no matter how hard you try and fight or ignore, it is going to happen. Quit sitting around waiting for this downturn to hit you. Take the bull by the horns and position yourself now to succeed no matter what this economy does.