Image source : al-noof
Businesses seem to be hitting a tough patch right now. While researching for this post, I stumbled upon this made-up term by a doctor, but I think if such a medical procedure DID exist, a lot of us would need it at one point or another :
Dr. Ralph Capone, the chief medical director of Excela Health came to talk about the new Strategic Plan and Vision for the health provider. First he had to add his own word of the week though, opticalrectumectomy. It is a new procedure in which a long pair of scissors is inserted up the rectum in order to snip the optic nerve behind the eye. It is designed to remove an individual’s shitty outlook on life.
Did you get the joke?
Here's another snippet that's in tune with what our good doctor is trying to say :
A shoe company once asked its sales team to name a country where there was ample opportunity for growth so they could expand their operations. They decide on a small african nation. The boss assigned 2 staff from their sales team to visit the country and generally gauge the demand for shoes in that country.
The first staff came back and reported that there would be absolutely no way for them to make money in that country because nobody wanted to wear shoes!
The second staff reported with excitement that their company could corner the shoe market there because EVERYONE needed shoes!
It's the same half-empty, half-full glass thing. But what's the point?
One of the best ways you can help yourself and your business (or even if you're not a business owner) is to hang tough, and stay positive. I've said it before and I'll say it again - Your mind is where 90% of your battles are won or lost. Despite everything around you telling you to have a shitty outlook on life, you need to stay optimistic. So here are some tips to help you avoid the negativity of today's tough economy :
- Stop comparing yourself to others.
Everybody has their own life to lead and everybody has their own race to run in life. You can't compare yourself with the Smiths who have a condo in Bali, the Robinsons who manage a multi-million dollar company or the Lees who get to take holidays 3 times a year because their network marketing business seems to be printing money for them to your small home based food business and think you're not as successful as they are. Sure, you've got to set yourself targets and wanting to be successful like Donald Trump isn't wrong, but you've got to be realistic. There's a saying that goes "Success isn't measured by money, power or your position in life - it's measured by the obstacles that you've overcome". That saying applies to you personally as well as your business.
- Think outside the box – because you can.
Because small businesses have less breathing room in a bad economy or a very competitive niche, owners and managers need to get creative in order to survive. Thinking outside the box doesn't have to mean coming up with radically different approaches, but it does mean NOT restricting yourself to conventional methods.
Fortunately, small businesses are more nimble than large corporations and can initiate innovative (or unconventional) solutions without getting bogged down by layers of bereaucratic red tape. Small business owners can adapt quickly to economic changes by adjusting their plans - from budgetting to marketing. A smaller company can quickly tap into new markets, look for different sources of revenue, put non-critical projects on hold, or cut costs in resourceful ways.
So if you’re feeling discouraged, remind yourself that your independence and your ability to think and act outside the box are two of the most valuable tools you possess as a small business owner.
- Review your value proposition.
If the economy is getting you (and probably all of the players in your niche) down, doing a bit of reflection can give you a morale boost. Think about it - you've run a successful business so far. You've built a customer base that trusts you and appreciate your product and service. You MUST have done something right, right? Reviewing the reasons why your customer base has stayed loyal to you is a great way to remind yourself that you have a great product or service. Go one step further and think about how you can add value to what you already have. Making this a goal can help re-ignite that spark of excitement in you and re-affirm your confidence in your business model.
When the economy get tough, it's time to understand your brand, hone your unique value proposition and remind your customers what it is that you do best. It's not about going on an ego trip, but promoting yourself can be the best investment you can make in difficult times, reminding yourself and your customers of the true value of your company and boost your confidence and your sales.
- Be realistic, but optimistic.
While savvy business owners must be realistic about the economy, maintaining a positive attitude is critical. Try not to be influenced by others’ negativity, embrace your ability to be creative, and remind yourself of the true value your business adds.
Being a business owner means you're going to come up against problems. That's a sure thing - not a maybe. Some problems will be major and threaten to sink your ship, others will be minor bugs that just irritate you, but whatever the situation, you only compound the problem if you take a pessimistic view of things. Looking at the negative side of things just makes you more dissapointed, depressed and brings you closer to despair.
Remember that age-old saying "Tough times don't last, but tough people do".