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5 TIPS TO STAYING IN BUSINESS IN THIS POOR ECONOMY
Many people ask me, “Sherese, how do you continue to thrive even in a down economy?” The truth is, although I’m thriving, times are still tough. The challenges of keeping our profit margins on track keeps me on my toes and reveals that the foundation I’ve built works!

Here are five ways that I keep Effició on the success track no matter how many drops the business rollercoaster has:

1. Collaborate. Business owners have many needs and want their solutions based on their unique situation. I try to address these needs by collaborating with other experts to provide an enhanced learning experience. Not only do our customers enjoy the benefits of our expertise but myself and my collaboration partner become better business people for working together vs. going it alone.

2. Look for High Level Opportunities: This can be tricky but worth the time to plan it out. Even though Effició is known for providing all the tools a business owner needs; we still need to align ourselves with International brands and organizations. By looking for partnerships and/or alliances with well known brands that speak to your target market; you will expand your market share and open up many opportunities for increased cash flows.

For example: I’m spending a lot of my sales time calling on International women’s groups and associations where at least 30% of their membership is comprised of women business owners that are generating $250,000 or more in revenues. I have mapped out several ways Effició can partner with them vs. just being a member. You might say, “…yea, but it’s hard.” Of course it’s hard, but it’s about being strategic and focused. Don’t go after every brand, only go after those where your solutions can benefit their organization and their audience…and you can prove it.

3. Make Yourself and Your Team Available: This one’s pretty simple. Not only do we provide complementary introductory consults, but we also have a call in radio show, an online network focused on providing answers to your business questions, and the Small Business Anonymous hotline every Friday to speak to an Effició advisor one-on-one to talk about anything related to business. Complementary or free is not the key word here, ACCESSIBLE is the key word. These services are High Value even though they are complementary. No business can provide structured training and strategic planning services for free, but you can develop ways to make your business available.

You don’t have to follow in our footsteps, just figure out how to make yourself available so that your target knows that they can contact you anytime without the pressure of having to pay for every little thing. Make yourself and your team available for questions – you must be an advocate for those you serve!

4. Align Your Company with Established Agencies in Your Community: Not only does Effició provide it’s own training and consulting, but we also teach for local community colleges and the Small Business Administration. We’ve done this since our existence. Teaching a class or leading a seminar for local community organizations is a great way to build credibility and also become a key expert resource for future needs.

Here are some great organizations to research in your area they often have a need for teachers and seminar leaders: Small Business Administration, SCORE, Small Business Development Centers, The City Government Office, Your Local Economic Development Office, Your Local Urban League or Business League, and of course Community Colleges and Universities. (Don’t be afraid to travel, there are many small communities outside of your area that have community colleges that are hungry for your expertise)

5. Cut Your Prices but Not the Value: I’m not saying cut your prices forever; just during these down times. We just can’t afford it! Remember, you have to understand your target market but also support them. If your sales are suffering, maybe you should discount the price of the product or service that you feel serves your market best. Not just this month but for the next three months. If you do this coupled with all of the above, you keep your clients, you keep cash flow coming in, and you stay in business so you can stay on the rollercoaster as it levels off – you’ll be surprised how many opportunities will come to you based on all your hard work.

This is not a time to doubt or give up. It’s a time to work with each other and let’s stay in business together.

Wishing you success and prosperity!

© 2008 Effició, Inc. Sherese Duncan

This article brought to you by the number one magazine for wholesale merchandise Retailers Forum.

About The Author

Sherese Duncan, is the ‘The Entrepreneur’s Strategic Partner.’ Get her FREE Award Winning weekly eZine, Tactical Growth. It’s for small biz owners who want actionable strategies to grow their small business. Sign up for your free growth package at http://www.tacticalgrowth.com.