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These are extraordinary times

There is political upheaval. People are feeling anxious, let down, betrayed, unsure of their future and are experiencing just about every other emotion in the world. Nobody seems to have the political leadership or the economic answers. We appear to be in stalemate. If you are in business you are possibly feeling similar insecurity. Do you have enough customers? Is cash flow poor? Are you confidently looking forward to 2017 or are you bemoaning how things aren’t as good as they used to be. They say that if you spend most of your life in the past you are depressed, if you’re always thinking about the future you’re anxious and the only way to be at peace is to work in the present.

I was talking to a business broking colleague of mine yesterday and asked him how things were going with him. He’s been in this business around about the same 30 years that I have. His advice applies to any business selling a product or service and it was as follows:

  • Make sure your marketing is fired up.
  • Make sure all the businesses (products or services) that you’re advertising are profitable (attractive)
  • Assess all your stock critically and if you don’t have enough go out and get the stock that will appeal to your clientele
  • Have the right variety of stock that will appeal to the most number of customers
  • You can’t influence buyer sentiment. If sentiment is poor, you just have to find ways to work with it
  • Make sure your pricing is right – no premiums if you don’t have premium buyer
  • Go back to customers in your database that you nearly did business with last time and work them again. Keep going back to the farm.

I would simply add this that if you are feeling down right now, appreciate that you are not on your own. Look up a colleague, even a suppplier and tell them how you are feeling. I’m not in favour of making a habit of calling around and spreading bad news, but if you are really struggling and don’t have any answers, find someone you can talk to. It might be your accountant, your lawyer, it could be your business partner or even one of your managers. There is no weakness in looking for help or a sounding board when things aren’t going well. The great secret in life is that many people are carrying around the same secrets that everyone else has and are afraid to tell each other. Deal with what’s going on right now, do the best you can and be at peace.

Please share this with someone who might be doing it tough right now.

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