Getting a Clear Picture of Your Business
phone has stopped ringing. t’s been a week… 2 weeks… business
is unusually slow. Do you
over react? There is a
growing phenomenon of those who seem to have “lost their way” as a
result of a changing economy. At
one point, vision is clear and the path to success stretches on to a
predictable future. Then,
for no apparent reason, when the phone stops ringing… nothing feels
or appears normal. The
unexpected down time disrupts the energy and brows crease in concern.
Surely, there is something to blame - a cause that created this
typical response to the stress may be the impulse to “change”
everything… update the web site, revise the logo, streamline
services, add benefits, expand ad copy, buy better equipment, hire or
fire staff… the list goes on. The
sense of “losing the market” creates an unfocused, sporadic knee
jerk reaction to what might be a simple issue.
how photography works. Professional
photographers understand an image needs to be isolated and brought
efficiently into focus by the maneuvering of levers and dials.
A non-professional usually purchases a camera that has “auto
focus,” where the camera is programmed to zero in on the image and,
like magic, the camera adjusts and clarifies the field.
Simplicity at it’s best.
That’s because a set of instructions and logical processes
are already programmed in the camera.
focus is a concept you can apply to your business process by
understanding that shifts in the market are bound to occur.
Learn to adjust smoothly and effectively.
Here are 6 steps to gain focus:
1. Evaluate Your
Internal decline in processes often causes disruption in business.
Are you delivering your product or service at the level of
quality demanded by your market? Review
your last ten to fifteen sales or customer interactions and evaluate
the delivery system… does it duplicate your “promise” to the
public? If at first
review, it is at the level you want, consider calling the last five
clients and conduct a short interview to see if the perceived
disruption is non-system oriented.
example: Your call prompts
this client response, “Well, Mark, you always sounded so busy and
rushed that I didn’t want to bother you with little questions.”
Light bulb time. This
reveals that your tight schedule and elevated stress energy translates
to the client as “you’re too busy to bother” with their
sad fact is customers will gravitate to business professionals who
only have eyes for them. They
must be convinced of your total concentration and know you aren’t
thinking about the next deal, but are focused on them.
Speak openly and honestly with other business professionals in your
field. It will not only
expand your knowledge and expertise, it will open doors to future
establishing a Mastermind mentoring group which consists of people in
your industry who:
Are successful in what they do
Have a competence and expertise in areas you need to develop
Are ethical and trustworthy
Will also benefit from the association of other group members.
up to ten members and establish quarterly meetings designed to address
industry issues, personal development, and feedback on projects.
Encourage a broad cross section of participants from different
parts of the country – remember, it’s about perspective and
expanding the focus field.
– a lot! Dedicate 30
minutes a day to personal development.
This practice could dramatically impact your overall ability to
anticipate future trends and probable growth or decline issues to
address for your business.
Have legislative changes created a tidal wave of panic?
Access the Internet and analyze legislative recommendations.
Are your sales declining due to lack of consumer confidence in
your industry? Is new
legislation detrimental to the growth of your business?
hesitate to establish a dialog with your state representative or
senator. They are serving
you. Have your thoughts
and concerns concisely outlined, then make the call or send the email.
Your perspective may be more valuable than you know.
4. Look Inside:
Careers are not necessarily easily matched to emotional temperament.
If your first reaction to business slumps is despair and excess worry,
you probably won’t last long as a commissioned real estate sales
person as your body and brain fail to assimilate the assault of
extreme ups and downs.
You may have always dreamed of a sales profession, but if the
consequence of living your dream is destroying your health, perhaps a
reevaluation is necessary. Career
choice does matter.
5. Analyze The
The public rules… if your service or product is deemed a “luxury
item” in a down-turning economy, your business may be the first to
be negatively impacted. Create
a list of benefit statements that will re-establish need as defined by
the current environment. Determine
how the services or products you offer can become a “must have” in
the marketplace. Remember,
it’s all in how to you present it in relation to the current public
6. Update Your
Revisit goals, objectives and input you have gained as a result of
your investigation and update your business plan accordingly.
Establish a budget that accommodates changes and remember to
build in flexibility. When
you are prepared financially to cover the natural “slumps,” you
will be less likely to negatively over react.
Following a well-built, consistent plan enhances the sense of
personal control and minimizes the impact of a slowing marketplace.
this day and age of rapidly shifting attitudes, loyalties and
expectations, you need to establish your business identity as “solid
ground” - like the light house beam which guides fog bound ships to
safe harbor. World changes
may speed by for the public, but you and your business should always
remain in their line of sight. Stop
flailing around in a self imposed fog.
Set up your equipment, take aim and click…
focus - it is not just a technique; it’s an attitude of confidence
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