Monday, August 22, 2011

Does Your Business Have the “Economic Flu?” The Cause and the Cure may already be in your hands!

imageThis article was written by Carl Woodard,
SCORE Orange County Chairman

With so many predictions of pending economic sickness, it may be tempting to believe that every business, yours included, must eventually suffer the symptoms. How many small business owners will “protect” their businesses against a predicted downturn by cutting back employees, reducing advertising expenses, canceling promotions and turning off the “Open for Business” sign a little early each day?

Do not follow this temptation!

Those that do may blame the “poor economy” for their pain and suffering, and overlook the fact that their business suffers from their own actions….or inaction.

Now is the time to find preventative medicine so you can come through without as much as a sniffle. So, where do you find all of the Vitamin C and medications to inject into your daily operation? The good news is that remedies are close at hand. But, they will require some effort on your part.

Start by strengthening the business that you have. Cling to your good customers. It is always easier to keep a good customer than to get a new one. Call them and see how their business is performing. Sympathize if they have a glitch. Ask yourself if you can provide a new service that they may need.

If a segment of your business base is in need of help, see if you can temporarily reorganize to meet the need. Be flexible in unusually demanding times. Your customers will remember your effort.

Ask your customers for referrals in order to build your business. Referrals lead to future referrals.

Control your variable costs, but not to the point that it leads to more pain. Low inventory may be good business, but an out-of-stock condition is a lost sale. And keeping your sales volume high is a sure way to minimize headaches.

If, after doing all that you can do to keep your business healthy, you find that you are in need of a fresh perspective about getting back on a healthier track, remember that you can call on the more than 100 business counselors at SCORE Orange County for an office visit. No medical plan is required; however, an appointment is necessary, and easily obtained.

Call Orange County SCORE at 714-550-7369. We will set a convenient time for you. Remember to call us before those first signs of a cough or fever. Perhaps, together we can prevent problems from becoming serious.

Oh, yes….our office visits are always free!