As we complete the first quarter, how are we all doing? Many of you are getting there and making it happen and others are still trying the old ways with some success. My hat is off to the hard working business owners and ultimate survivors.
We decided to ask our customers what has been working for them and here is what we found….
More Hours – Many of you are working harder and longer hours. This works for a while, however you must watch your health in this! Our personal machines are designed to work at a certain pace and distance. Make sure your other balance factors are considered no matter what!
Less Pay – Yes we all know that business owners are taking less pay, however many employees are willing to take less pay as long as the company can survive and make the distance. Extra hours for less pay, personal work time and straight time instead of overtime are just a few. It’s good to see the world pulling together to make it work!
Cut Extra Costs – Many businesses have to forgo the extras. Outings, food supplied meetings, extra supplies and high end extras are just a few examples. Companies are also shopping smarter for regular items. This seems to be making our purchasing decisions count. It’s good to be conscious, just don’t be foolish. Newspaper should only be read in the bathroom! (Sorry could not resist! – LOL)
Lower Cost Per Sale – We still have most of our businesses marketing to some degree, they are just being smarter about it. Sometimes this forced exercise is a good one. They are more conscious about lowering the cost per lead or cost per sale. Many of you are joining forces on generating business with Online Social Networks. This is one way. The next is to work customers for referral programs. This has always worked, and we are starting to see a lot more of this effort. Also, more structured programs and intentional efforts are becoming more popular to reward customers for brining in those referrals. Referral Agent and Affiliate Programs are also on the rise. We had half dozen inquiries last week alone on helping to structure these! Also, we are seeing an increase in Joint Venture programs where vendors and partners are joining forces to share resources to accelerate business. If you venture down any of these paths, make sure you have agreements in place. This helps keeps everyone real!
Government Bailout Monies – I am sure most of us have not received ours, although I did hear about some good news for small business in the “Big Package”. However, let’s wait and see what really gets signed and passes through the channel. Now, if you work at AIG – congratulations on the bonuses! Maybe you could spend some of that hiring our small business customers, or shopping and hitting the retail sector. It sure would help out the economy and get us back on track.
In any event, we should not wait for the trickle down effect of this bailout plan, instead, just remember the heart and soul we used when we started our businesses and wake up every day and motivate the troops to focus on what will bring in the most business for the lowest amount.
You know what to do – stop waiting for things to change and make it happen!