Make It Easy
Hope. That's what's missing. Fear causes hopelessness. Even if millions of people were traveling to Hawaii right now, some businesses would close up. Others would stay open with a little gleam called "hope" that things will get back to normal.
Small business survivors
need to have hope
Economics is tied closely to psychology. That's why there has never been a 100 percent successful economic policy. When humans get involved in anything, the outcome is as predictable as a game of craps. Businesses that stay open are aiding recovery by being positive.
If you are feeling hopeless, what do you do?
>> First, review times in your life when things seemed hopeless. How did they turn out? What did you do to turn the tide in your favor? Were you exaggerating the extent of the bad news?We all need to remember that small business is vital to the health of any community. Each may only be a domino in the big game, but when one falls,the rest are not far behind.
>> Second, take stock. Are you healthy? Do you have things you can sell? Do you have friends and loved ones to support you emotionally, spiritually and physically? Do you have options you can follow?
>> Third, regroup. Can you work with someone else in a way that will benefit both of you? Can you combine your marketing with theirs? Can you advertise differently or use new signs to attract customers? Can you sell on the Internet? If you have a Web site, are you marketing it correctly?
>> Fourth, re-assess your niche. People have changed since Sept. 11. We want different things. Who knew that the Vietnam War generation would be the largest buyers of American flags 30 years later? Re-think what you sell and why. Assess your customers' current needs and see how you can fill them.
>> Fifth, give yourself some credit. We need you. We need all small businesses across the country to thrive. When you are successful, you employ people who buy from other businesses, enabling them to pay taxes. This supports the governments in each city, county and state across the United States.
So, have hope. Have faith. Get your business healthy. And, take care of yourself. We need you.
Beth Terry is president of Pacific Rim Seminars.
This column is excerpted from her upcoming book,
101 Ways to Make Your Life Easier. Send questions
on management, customer service and other issues