Some business people consider quitting when things get rough, and sometimes they do just that… for a while. But then they find a way to bounce back and stay strong through difficult circumstances by staying apprised of valuable resources that encourage outside-the-box thinking to foster business solutions.
A research report offered by Dane Stangler of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation ("The Economic Future Just Happened,” June 9, 2009), cites the following findings:
1. Recessions and bear markets, while they bring pain and often lead to short-term declines in business formation, do not appear to have a significantly negative impact on the formation and survival of new businesses.
2. Well-over half of the companies on the 2009 Fortune 500 list, and just under half of the 2008 Inc. list, began during a recession or bear market. We also find that the general pattern of founding years and decades can help tell a story about larger economic trends.
3. Job creation from startups is much less volatile and sensitive to downturns than job creation in the entire economy.
The report further states: "While these data are far from conclusive and can only hint at broader trends, they do illustrate a more fundamental economic reality: each year, new firms steadily recreate the economy, generating jobs and innovations. These companies may be invisible, or they may one day grow into household names. But they constantly come into being as individuals bring forth their economic futures.”
SCORE (http://www.scorecommunity.com/) is an online community for small business entrepreneurs run by a nationwide group of executives and business owners. Expert sponsors donate their wisdom, and members can ask for advice, connect with other businesses, and locate for-sale businesses. There is no membership fee to participate in the services.
At some points, many businesses experience feeling overwhelmed by paperwork, whether they operate from a physical location or a virtual office. Using web-based technology can easily solve hours of frustration and wasted time by delegating such tasks either to software applications, or by hiring a virtual assistant (VA) to perform thankless tasks.
By the way… if you don’t have a VA, then you're probably not maximizing a resource that can save you time and money, particularly if you think Time Is Money. If you think your business isn’t ‘big enough’ or that you ‘can’t afford another person’ in your business, realistically access the time and effort you spend to get the results you're getting. And if there is a disconnect between your time and your results, then rethinking the benefits of having an assistant may be a solution to your problem. Run the figures to be sure if you can afford a VA.
Business growth presents its own issues and can result in unexpected rough times. What business owner ever thinks that a growing business will be a problem? Not many, but it happens and can cause disastrous effects if handled in the wrong way. Reaching new growth levels requires extra hours by everyone, and sometimes work standards are scrutinized as added pressure to produce and missed deadlines come into play. It takes a strong will and determined focus to remain on course, even as the course is altered. But by remaining firm to your goals and initiating new problem solving resources through creative thinking, rough times can be conquered.
Perhaps the biggest asset of any business is to maintain an exceptionally high quality of products and services, especially when things get rough. Businesses fail every day, and to avoid yours falling into that category, take these measures to keep your business strong:
1. Stay alert to changes that need to happen now, vs. getting side-tracked with past mistakes and feeling overwhelmed.
2. Avoid negative ideas and thinking patterns that don’t add value to your business vision.
3. Respect all members of your team and listen to their ideas.
4. Keep products and services up to date and websites in good working order, so that when clients find you, transactions follow.
5. Ask for assistance when you need it and get it from experts.
Successful business people will tell you that rough times can be overcome by paying attention to what’s happening in your business, despite undesirable influences and the economy.
CYNTHIA BULL (http://www.cynrje.com/) is an internationally published writer and editor who helps international authors, marketers and speakers add greater value to their products through her top-quality writing, editing and transcription services. She is the author of How To Be A Medical Transcriptionist and Winning At Work While Balancing Your Life, a contributing author of Walking with the Wise Entrepreneur (Mentors Publishing House), cited in Make BIG Profits on eBay (Entrepreneur Press), and Managing Editor of Mentors Magazine Think & Grow Rich Edition. Cynthia has created over 200 book products in the past two years for her clients and, as mentor, helps clients reach their goals through her products, experience and genuine caring. Cynthia writes this feature article exclusively for the Association of Artisan Businesses (http://www.artisanbusinesses.org/), an organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the artisan industry.