Post by Dr. Marsha Firestone, contributing Women On Business writer
Most businesses are seeing a range of effects from the struggling economy. Take light in the fact that as an entrepreneur and business owner you can be more flexible with your business ideas and decisions than a large corporation. Customers will be more enthusiastic about going to your company because you are willing to work with them and facilitate their needs. Since you make the decisions, you have the ability to give a little leeway when times are hard in order to retain your customers and build customer loyalty.
What you do for each customer might be different, but it is important to communicate with them, and find out what they want so they continue to use your services. Once you have talked to several of your customers, and you find a trend in what they are asking for, you can consider advertising that you supply this product or service to bring in new business.
This might also be a good time to re-evaluate your business plan, and alter it to fit in with the current economic climate. There is no way to be sure of what the economy will look like in the New Year, but it is helpful to plan for the worst case scenario and how you would resolve it. Hopefully, it doesn’t happen but if it does, you will have a contingency plan in place. The new plan will also include the ideas you have come up with from talking to customers and working with them to evaluate their wants and needs.
As an entrepreneur, take advantage of the flexibility you have in your business. It will benefit you when times are tough and change is needed. Be confident that by being flexible you are not changing your business completely, but you are developing it to fit with the current economy.