Publisher's Note: Beat the odds
By Jody Reese
Bad things happen to good people and good businesses. A bad economy is a great example. You’ve run a great business, worked hard in your job and still you’ve been laid off or your business is struggling to pay its bills. What can be done?
Here are 10 things that any business or person can do to improve their odds of prospering in a down economy.
1. Sharpen skills of owner and employees. Be better at what your business does. In the case of an individual, take time to go back to school or learn new skills.
2. Get creative in your marketing. You might want to be funny — or not — but either way grab attention. Same goes for someone who lost his job: what will make you as a job candidate stand out?
3. Extend your service hours. For example, be open later or available during non-regular business hours. As an individual, be available to work less desirable shifts and offer to show up early for interviews.
4. Offer more of what people want. If customers are buying more burgers on your menu, offer more burger choices. As an individual find out what skills or job history is getting you interviews, highlight that and pull those examples out in front on your résumé.
5. Introduce new services or goods. Be sure to price these new offerings aggressively to bring people in. For an individual this is more of getting new skills and telling potential employers what you have recently learned.
6. Advertising more (got to reach new people). Individuals can try posting résumés online.
7. Network more (got to reach new people) Businesses, join your chamber group, one of those young people business groups, a business networking group or even join a service organization, such as Rotary or Kiwanis. Individuals, join Linked in or some similar groups for your industry.
8. Offer less expensive options. For businesses, this might mean offering a product in a smaller size or something one grade down from what you normally have. For individuals it can mean taking a pay cut to get the job you want.
9. Have a great attitude (times may be tough, but a negative attitude infects everyone). Even if the clouds are dark, you’ve got to project that it’s sunny out. No one likes a downer. Customers can tell and employers can tell.
10. Remember that one business/one owner/one person can beat the odds. It may be tough out there, but you can beat the odds. Businesses are still growing and people are getting hired. Heck, even some newspapers are doing just fine.
We are not adrift in a sea without any control over our future. We can chart our own course. It may not be easy or always fun — but it is doable.