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Keeping The Doors Open During Tough Times

GQ Barber Shop Grand Opening With Fellow Barber At Barclays Center
Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for GQ

Tomorrow morning, when you open the door to your business, one of two things will happen. Either it will be another successful day, or it will be your last day of business. Due to economic conditions more and more businesses are experiencing the latter, and in many cases it could have been avoided.

Your Worst Day of Business

Stop and think for a moment. What would you say was your worst day of business? Could it have possibly been your first day of business? You have no customers, no one knows your business name, your location is yet to be a landmark, and your level of customer service has yet to be established. Even your employees may not be tuned into the long-range vision of your business.

Go back in your mind to that first day of business. What did you do to get the business name out there? Grand Opening sign? Balloons? Lots of advertising? The point is that you did not skimp on being noticed. You spent money even though no money was coming in.

What Is The Lifeblood of Any Business?

Right … its qualified paying customers. If your business has been around a few years, then you probably have a core group of loyal customers. If you are a new business, then one of your primary business goals is to start building a loyal following by providing quality product and good customer service. No matter which category you fall into, as a business owner, success or failure lies with you.

Business Building Starts by Taking Action

Business owners who live and die by price alone are going to have a very hard time during current economic conditions. When times are good you’re selling more even though your profit margin might be lower than it should be.

However, during lean times, with a low profit margin, less money come in and your bottom line suffers. To correct this problem you must work smarter, not harder. That means having an adequate profit margin on all your products and services and training everyone in your organization to sell value instead of price.

Cut Waste

Next, look for ways to cut waste. I’m not talking about reducing hours or laying people off. It’s easier to reduce waste by 2 percent that increasing sales by the same amount. If you profits drop 6 percent and you have to lay off 20 percent of your work force to compensate, then you are simply a poor manager.

The main reason people use price as a measure is because they are not educated about the value of your products or services. People rarely buy things based solely on price.

Some Final Thoughts

If you create value you will create customer confidence that will build that core base. Every day, someone, somewhere, needs your products or services and they are trying hard to find you. But they won’t unless you do your part in helping them find you. Recessions only affect those who allow it to affect them by not obeying the rules of good business.

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