“I have one simple thing to recommend: See the opportunities! They are always there in any environment.”
Betty Van Dyck, Being in Balance, LLC, Dallas, TX
QuickBooks Certified ProAdvisor, Sleeter Group Certified QuickBooks Consultant
Betty hits the nail on the head. Surviving and thriving in the current economic climate depends first and foremost on a positive attitude. Without it, everything around you is oppressive. You spiral inward, rolling into a ball hoping to survive. But with a positive attitude, with the belief that you will survive AND thrive (now and more when the business cycle turns up again), opportunities come alive.
Where might opportunities arise?
Say you receive a phone call one day saying contracts with a government agency or business are being put on hold. Other calls from prospects and clients say all proposals are shelved indefinitely. Or maybe you read about downsizing of important functions at agencies and businesses.
Rather than circle the wagons, a positive attitude helps you conceive of a new service. Perhaps you see a way to leverage your assets—technology, people, experience, expertise and more—across multiple organizations, being able to deliver services remotely and/or at a lower cost. Maybe you think of a way to collaborate with the remaining staff at a client’s or prospect’s office.
After conceiving the idea and working through the main features of the new service, you pull back a little bit and self-manage your enthusiasm. Time to do market research! The best and lowest cost way to do that: Research calls.
Call clients and prospects. Ask if you can talk to them about a service you are considering that will help them continue with important functions but at a lower cost. Tell them you want their help to get it right. Then meet—at their office, at your office, at Starbucks or anywhere convenient to them. One professional said that he drove a company owner 30 miles to the airport because that was the only time he had available.
Don’t limit yourself to the details of the service as you see it. Ask questions: How do they do it now? What changes with the delays or cancellations of contracts? What do they expect as benefits? Learn all you can from the client’s point of view.