Are you in this precarious position? Sales are flat. You've downsized as much as the business can stand. You've streamlined your processes to be more productive. You and the staff haven't experienced a raise in some time. Moral is tenuous. What to do - what to do? It's a scary position but every entrepreneur carries the word risk with them every day.
About 10 years ago I too was in this position. We wished our sales were flat. They were actually declining and the credit line was growing. We were looking for solutions in a fast changing economy. We discovered an opportunity in attending an industry conference in Phoenix, Arizona. The down side was the cost to attend for the week was in the $10,000 range. At the time the Canadian dollar was $1.40 for every American dollar. Ouch. What to do - what to do?
Well we (I had a partner at the time) decided that we already owed a large some of money, what was $10,00 more? What we couldn't do - was nothing. You have to look for opportunities. Sitting back and hoping it will solve itself isn't a smart option. As a matter of fact, a lot of that attitude carried us to this point. The conference topics addressed issues we were trying to tackle on our own. We needed another perspective. We had to talk to others within our industry and see where they stood.
Suffice to say, the conference was an epiphany. We were buried in deep conversation, morning, noon and evening. We were enlightened by similar experiences and brilliant concepts for success. That conference was a turning point for me personally. On our return, we were contacted by a few individuals we met at the conference with an interesting proposal. How would we like to carry on the conversation for the betterment of all? What this question gave birth to was a quarterly meeting with a handful of individuals who for the last ten years, meets every quarter at a member's city and spends an entire friday, brain storming with the sole intention of helping each other succeed. We call the group "MOOB", (Mind Our Own Business). As a matter of fact we meet in Gary, Indiana next friday (May 18th).
Are you letting money hold you back? Are you allowing fear to keep you from embracing a solution that is within your grasp? Are you throwing up barriers where you should be hurtling them? This article was inspired by a call I made recently with a lead I got. They definitely saw the benefit of strengthening their brand and clearly saw how it could increase sales. Short funds held them back. I was perplexed. If you see a path to increased sales, wouldn't it offset the cost of the solution that could get you there? Obviously there are other internal issues holding them back. What ever the dilemma, doing nothing is not the solution.
Every entrepreneur including myself have been in their shoes. Some of us will bite the bullet and get new shoes. The rest struggle along with worn soles and a scuffed appearance. Nothing delivers like a new pair of shoes and a new attitude. Naturally the fit is important, but once you've done your due diligence, take them out of the box and try them on. It's the first step in a powerful new brand journey.