You might not avoid adversity, but you can minimise the impact.
Should significant adversity occur in the future, you will again suffer both financial and emotional pain? The wise business owners and managers will make preparations which avoid adversity and will minimise problems.
Build up a ‘rainy day’ account during the good times.
First, figure out your magic number, how much money you spend on essentials every month. If sales for a given month are higher than that number, deposit most of the extra into an emergency savings account and some on a reward. If you have a slow month down the track, your “rainy day” account will help protect you from financial disaster. Become financially savvy, http://goo.gl/mOYFhO
Avoid adversity by establishing new networks of support.
Your business contacts are another kind of money in the bank. If your usual methods and tactics aren’t working, then turn to your network for help and start networking. Remember this needs to be a two-way street; if you give something, your contacts are much more likely to help you in return.
During adversity, keep your existing customers happy.
A few weeks or a month after making a sale, call the customer and ask if everything is okay and if they have any questions regarding your product or services. Satisfied customers will be inclined to send their friends and associates to you, which can provide an extra revenue stream even in slumps. Always be conscious of customer’s and prospect’s frustration, problems, wants and needs. It will keep them coming back, particularly when you are going through hard times.
Create an effective sales funnel, or pipeline.
Through the process of qualification and selecting targeted market segments, you reduce the infinite source of prospects to a realistic number. This group then enters the pipeline one at a time to be “processed”. You study their needs to determine how your product or service can help them. Clients then move closer to the base of the funnel and finally confirm the sales. The task is to then nurture them through the sales-funnel by assuring ongoing satisfaction. Leaving sales to chance is what causes slumps.
The flow of prospects to your pool of customers will be constant as long as you earnestly maintain each phase of the pipeline, resulting in a continual flow of income and make slumps a thing of the past. Like a good General, you should have an arsenal of prospecting techniques and a sound understanding of your market segments and the ‘buying cycles’ involved.
The current slump seems to be never-ending. Your sales have been way down for months, and you’re starting to feel like the struggle will never end. Don’t panic; there are things you can do to improve your situation immediately. Examine you’re ‘why”.
Take time to reconsider ‘why’ you are doing what you do. It may be time for you to move on. It may also be that you have not aligned the activities of the business with your passion and strengths. Whatever the cause, blasting yourself out of your comfort zone can help shift your emotional outlook.
After the adversity is always a good time to stop in a beautiful place, to relax, think, reflect and plan. Developing the habit of routinely engaging in such activities will help considerably to mitigate future slumps.
Perhaps the most significant cause of most slumps is the ‘feast or famine syndrome’, where you are always juggling to make sales while also doing the other necessary work. One thing that can help avoid slumps in the future is getting you business “Investor Ready”, or in the case of a not-for-profit “Grant, or Partner Ready”, http://goo.gl/u4n5dN
A sales slump is almost always due to unfortunate marketing activities. Failure to tackle these activities conscientiously will create the next slowdown. Salespeople who become lazy, take things for granted or ignore the cyclical nature of sales will eventually experience slumps. Most slumps can be averted if you maintain an active sales pipeline, backed up with modern, consistent marketing practices.
Revisit your Business Model, Business Plan, Value Chain and budget
These are the essential documents that will help you to make necessary adjustments and even put your mind at rest. Proper planning helps to avoid the severity of slumps, therefore making it well worth the effort.
Understand the current situation, before you can fix any problem, you need to know what is causing it. What are the possible causes, external or internal? External causes imposed on you from outside, like economic slowdowns or industry problems are usually out of your control. However, their impact can also be minimised. Conversely, if your business is experiencing adversity and everyone else is doing well, you probably have internal issues to address.
Avoid adversity, become more action-orientated.
While external problems are out of your control, you can soften the blow by meeting the issue head-on. Far too many people procrastinate, allowing their situation to deteriorate even further. If it means dealing with internal issues, perhaps this is the time you call in an experienced business advisor.
“Accept what is, let go of what was, and have faith in your ability to rise above adversity”. Peter sergeant