Let’s Get Competitive

When biz is down, there are many ways to deal with the situation. Unfortunately, one of the most common is to pull back, freeze up, stop everything, and then repeat. It’s a huge component of the reaction to some remarkable events in our domestic, not to mention international economy.

But it doesn’t have to be a complete standstill, “deer in the headlights” type of year. No, this can be the year of invention, evolution, and progress. And to do so, you’ve got to get competitive in the truest sense of the word. I’m often asked about our competition. My reaction is always the same: “Our competition is ourselves. It’s the brochure that was delayed at the printer. It’s the employee who was less than polite on the phone. It’s any number of things, but overall, if we do our job properly, nobody can compete.”

And when I speak about competition, I’m referring to the idea that if you have a good product, good service, and you can support your clients, you have a winning formula – assuming of course there is a need for your product or service.

So, what are we doing this year?

I’ve created a checklist for our company – and it’s one that we’re going to share with our clients – with you – and anyone who is interested. It’s a list that if followed will help your business grow (and ours, too).

To give you a preview, here are the top ten items (Read a la Letterman):

Number Ten: Think Community. The world has changed. Now, get with it and change, too – or get left behind.

Number Nine: Small is the New Big. Small business thrives in this economic environment.

Number Eight: Understand Competition. Are you it? Does someone offer the same solution, but with something you don’t?

Number Seven: Focus on Your Expertise. If you are an expert, flaunt it. If you aren’t one – become one.

Number Six: Create Your Online Presence. If you aren’t online, in today’s world, you’re not open for business. It’s time to open the doors to the Web and use it for profit and gain.

Number Five: Know What Your Customer Wants. ‘Nuf said.

Number Four: Promote Your Business, On- and Off-line. If nobody knows you, your client base will be very small.

Number Three: Build Your Brand. What makes you and your firm or service different? Tell everyone!

Number Two: Reinvent Your Sales Team. Don’t just go back to the well with the same old pitch. Make it count. New ideas, or even new people, may be the answer.

Number One: Have a Plan. You’d be surprised at how many people – and companies do not.

We’ll be creating a fun, short, white paper on “Ten Ways to Build Biz in 2009” and offering it to anyone who is interested. Oh – and we’re also trying to follow our own advice. Let us know what you think.

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