Going North when the Economy is still South!

For many large businesses - the economy appears to have made a recovery. For small businesses however, recovery is taking time - much longer than many of us expected. So what are the successful small businesses doing to keep their heads above water? According to experts and researchers, there are four key things that small businesses are doing to stay afloat.

What can you do? Follow these four simple strategies and when the skies clear you will be sure to have a stronger business and may even be in a position to expand.

Here is what small businesses need to do;

Collaborate more often

Women are great when it comes to collaboration on most things - but become concerned when it comes to collaboration in business. Remember - there is enough business for everyone!

Find complementary services and products and share marketing and promotional expenses - doubling your value and cross promoting each other's products and services. Don't forget to work together with your social media in cross promotion efforts to reach new customers.

Expand your marketplace

Expand your customer base by traveling to areas normally outside your reach. Many entrepreneurs limit themselves by staying close to home. But in reality by expanding your horizons you can quickly build your data base of potential clients.

If you normally make sales to 2% of your data base per month - and that data base increases in number - your sales will grow. If your sales percentages have shrunk during the recession, expanding your reach may restore your sales figures to pre-recession levels.

Network more

Networking is key to the success of small business - and many businesses cut it out trying to reduce costs in tough times. This is a big mistake.

To increase the value of networking efforts, entrepreneurs need to follow-up with sales calls within a week of the networking event. Many business owners I know increased their networking and follow-up sales activity to convert time and contacts to dollars and cents.

Increase spending on marketing:

This may be the time to become budget conscious, but don't give up spending money on marketing and advertising. Studies have shown that those businesses who continue with marketing and advertising outlast all others in their industry - and in fact find their business has increased when hard times are over.

Finally one of the best things a business owner can do is keep a positive attitude.

There's a great saying that I remember when I feel frustrated and under the gun. it goes something like this:

"Things always work out in the end. If they're not working out - it isn't the end yet"


Mandie Crawford is a marketing expert, business coach, trainer and motivational speaker who was recently awarded Calgary Business Woman of the Year for her contributions to the business community.

Mandie also has skills and expertise in providing high quality guidance in time management and system implementation for small a medium sized businesses. Her passion as a business and professional development coach is to helps women recognize their value and self worth.

She is the Preside...

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