Small Business Marketing by Jillian Shaw Marketing, Advertising & Public Relations for the Small Business

Adapting Your Small Business to the New Economic Environment

04.15.2010 · Posted in Business Solutions, Business Systems
ny times small business needs to change

Times, they are a-changin'

You have been in business for fifty years.  Your company has weathered the Carter recession, the late ’80s recession, the ’90s bust.  Why should you change anything now?  Sure, business is slow.  But that’s somebody else’s fault.  It has nothing to do with the fact you’re still stuck using systems that belong in the way, way back corner of the closet with your too-small bell-bottoms and flower-power tie-dye.

Um…wrong.  I’m not going to coddle you here.  Maybe you bought this business and you’re a younger person.  Maybe you started it when you were a mover and shaker and now 30+ years later the idea of moving and shaking anything makes you reach for an antacid.  Whatever the case may be, things have changed.  The economy has changed - dramatically.  And so should you.  And your small business.

So how do you even start?  The first thing you need to do is educate yourself.  Get online, go to the library, flip on CNBC and get in-the-know about the state of our economy, all the new legislation that’s being shoved through Congress, and start keeping tabs on the stock market.  Maybe these things won’t affect you at this very moment, but they most certainly will, and sooner rather than later.

Start seeking out articles, websites, and experts who are connecting the dots about what all these changes mean to small business.  Then connect the dots even further.  Figure out what’s affecting your industry, your local and state politics and economy, and your potential customers.

Once you have a firm grasp on current events and the public agenda, figure out where your systems are outdated.  You may decide you only need a few minor tweaks to get business flowing in again.  You may discover that your whole business model is shot.

Let’s say for example that you’re a bookstore.  With books available online for a fraction of the price, how can you possibly compete?  Maybe you put your own business online.  Maybe you diversify your product offering and make niche or specialty books a key part of your new business angle.  How can you make your small business new, unique, original, different, inviting, enticing?

No business large or small is exempt from the ebb and flow of the national economy or the paradigm shift caused by our new, smaller, online world.  You’ll have to come to terms with the fact that if you want your business to survive, you really do have to change.

Jillian's Currently Reading: Guerrilla Marketing, 4th edition: Easy and Inexpensive Strategies for Making Big Profits from Your Small Business
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