There’s a lot of advice out there about weathering the tough economy. But who wants to just weather it? Howard Stevens, CEO of HR Chally, offered advice for keeping your business not just afloat but steaming ahead throughout the current unpleasantness. Here’s the best of the list:
- Focus on existing customers first. Sure, you want to grow your customer base, but the customers you have already brought in the door are the low-hanging fruit. They are already predisposed to what you have to offer. Ask yourself how you can expand your service to them before you go hunting new game.
- Think about your purple cow features—those features that differentiate you from the crowd of competitors, make you stand out and be noticed. Figure out how to use these existing strengths in a new and different way and you’ll be unstoppable.
- Keep learning. This is not the time to have your nose so tight to the grindstone that you stop reading, stop networking, and stop learning. Quite the opposite. Ideas that seem unexceptional in easy times can suddenly appear brilliant in the current situation.
- Get yourself up-to-date with networking innovations on the Internet. Just five years ago there was no Twitter and no Facebook, and MySpace and LinkedIn were suckling babes. Now they are empires of personal connectivity. Can’t imagine how a bank could benefit from Twittering or from setting up a Facebook, fan page? Take a look at what others are doing. Skeptics tend to become True Believers in the click of a mouse.
- Give yourself time and space to think. When the heat is on, we tend to pack our schedules with activity and input. Make sure you are preserving headspace somewhere in the course of every day. Some of my most creative ideas come in the shower. Keep your car radio off. Take a walk without your iPod.