Stop Look Listen!

Posted: 25th June 2010

Times are undoubtedly tough for all businesses, money is tight and customers unwilling to commit. Yes, the economic situation is to blame and we all hope that business will get better when money starts to flow more freely again. But small businesses must be vigilant; external pressures may be masking other issues and there could be improvements you could make now to increase business.

A friend sells huge great IT systems to huge great companies with huge great budgets and huge great problems. He has been thinking of taking a counselling course recently; by the time customers finally make the call after probably years of brushing problems under the carpet, they don’t need just to buy something, they need admit that they need help and expose all their deepest darkest problems before they can even start looking at solutions.

You have to be on your guard, you have to look very deeply at what is happening and regularly analyse your sales patterns. It may not be the prevailing economic conditions, your product or service may simply be out of fashion or facing too much competition. Don’t let the problem get too big that you expose big holes in your business when the economy picks up, dust off your “start up business hat” do some basic market research; a client facing a really tough time recently asked a few questions and found that her customers didn’t want to buy cakes, they wanted to know how to make them, guess what, now she’s offering a full training programme – simples!

Small businesses do have a unique advantage that stops them getting to crisis point; they can see their customers, they can talk to their customers and they can change and adapt to challenges quickly. Use that dexterity to your advantage and be ready for the upturn.

I wanted to paraphrase Carole King’s “It’s too late baby” (not), for the title of this blog but found myself humming “it’s never too late to stop, look, listen (to your heart)” which seemed to fit better – covered by Craig David no live Marvin Gaye version available.

So you may have both earworms Stop look listen

And, It’s too late