How Business Owners Can Survive - and Thrive - in Today's "Tough" Economy
/24-7PressRelease/ - Las Vegas, NV, August 02, 2008 - While the U.S. economy may not officially be in a recession, most business owners and their customers certainly believe it is - and many are acting accordingly by tightening budgets and cutting back on purchases.
However, a business slowdown presents unique opportunities for small business owners, in addition to increased challenges. As more businesses are turning to business coaching as an alternative to costly business consulting practices to grow their companies, business owners are recognizing a great number of positives than negatives in the current economic landscape.
"As the world's number one business coaching firm, our Business Coaches recognize the potential for small business to grow and get ready for the next expansion - even in a slowdown," ActionCOACH Director of Marketing Jodie Shaw said. "More money is made in a slowdown leading into the next expansion that is made in a boom.
According to Shaw, ActionCOACH Business Coaches have been working with their clients to "get their financial houses in order," as well as expanding their marketing efforts.
"Three areas of focus business owners should look at right now are finances, marketing and delivery or distribution," she said.
From a financial perspective, businesses should focus on controlling cashflow (closing the "float" between accounts receivables and accounts payables); collecting outstanding payables; revising current terms with creditors (creating payment plans if necessary) and finding ways to increase profit margins while cutting some costs - realizing most firms can only cut costs so much before affecting overall operations.
From a marketing perspective, businesses should focus on developing or expanding marketing efforts. This includes a variety of low-cost marketing strategies (referral-based marketing, "test and measure" advertising, customer surveys to adjust stock/inventories to higher margin or higher volume products) and defining a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) that defines and differentiates the business in its specific market.
Finally, from a delivery and distribution perspective, businesses should focus on the overall customer service experience, from front-line team members, to making it easier for customers to buy, to guaranteeing products or services.
"Many large businesses were started in a slowdown by owners who looked at the world differently than conventional wisdom or the media narrative," Shaw said. "ActionCOACH is a good example of that. Our CEO (Brad Sugars) started the company in 1993 during a slowdown in Australia, and expanded to Singapore during the midst of the Asian credit crisis in the late 1990's."
Shaw also added changes now will leverage results for owners in the future.
"So there is no better time than right now for owners or would-be entrepreneurs to get their businesses on the right track," she said. "Because when the expansion does take place - the serious business people will be miles ahead of everyone else."
ActionCOACH is the world's number one business coaching firm, with more than 1,000 offices in 26 countries. To learn more about business coaching and ActionCOACH, go to actioncoach.com.