Is your business thriving? If itís become more of a chore to market and youíre trying to push your business into profitability, maybe you need to stop and get down to the BASICS. If your business has taken over the spare time you have for life and family, then you need to step back and determine whether youíre still moving in the right DIRECTION.†
A GOOD TIME TO STEP BACK
Every business experiences a time when things seem to slow down. Motivation seems to lag and customers donít buy your products. At such times you need to take a BREAK. Whether itís for a day or a week, you need to step back, recheck your priorities and do whatís necessary to refresh your spirits. But sometimes itís not so easy to see where your problem lies. Is it a sluggish economy or have your attitudes changed toward your business? Certain factors determine the success and future growth of your business. If you know what they are, you can take steps to correct them and get you INSPIRED again.
WHERE DID YOU COME FROM?
What was your mindset when you first started your business? You had your reasons, whether that was to get out from making your boss rich or to provide a better lifestyle for your family. You had a vision that you could succeed and you launched yourself into the wide world of new business. The adrenaline was pumping when you made your first prospect calls. But time wears everyone down. Eventually we all lose sight of our REASONS for striving to become successful. Time lets us fall into a routine that becomes boring. But you need to get back that drive. Do you remember what MOTIVATED you? Was it to get away from working a 9 to 5 job? Is that dream of a mansion and Ferrari still as real today as it was when you started your business? You do need to reflect back on those goals and see if what youíre doing now is helping you achieve them. Reflection doesnít have to take days. A quiet moment alone is all you need to reflect on your goals, achievements and make plans for the future.
ARE YOU STILL LEARNING?
If youíre not learning, your business is dead. No business college can teach you about all the things you need to do to insure business success. This means that your education CONTINUES well past incorporation and into the real-life nature of running that business. So if youíre not learning anything new, your business is headed for mediocrity. You canít AFFORD not to learn. Your competition is striving to stay abreast of the latest economic news and how that affects their business. You need to be active in your enterprise. If you feel the need, go ahead and take a Sabbatical, but make sure you do it with the intention of renewing that lost drive to learn.
DO YOU HAVE SUPPORT?
No, I donít mean from your suppliers or customers. No one can run a business in a vacuum. And itís very easy to get tired of the same old routine, unless you have someone you can go to for support and ENCOURAGEMENT when times get rough. Some comes from your family, but you should also get it from fellow businessmen and women. Thatís one of the reasons why there is a Chamber of Commerce in every major city and town. Itís a good chance to get together and not necessarily to discuss business. A business party can be a renewing event. If youíre COMMUNICATING on a regular basis with those people of like mind, whether thatís at a meeting or an Internet chat group, youíre not likely to get bored. Communicating with others is a good way to learn new things and stimulate the thought processes.
DO YOU STILL BELIEVE IN WHAT YOUíRE DOING?
Things do change and you may find yourself in a situation where pursuing your business just doesnít make SENSE anymore. You canít flog a dead horse, so perhaps itís time to move on to something else. Belief that you can accomplish what you set out to do is a necessary characteristic of any business mind, but donít let that belief BLIND you when it comes to moving on. The fact is that if you donít believe in your business, neither will your customers.
ARE YOU PATIENT?
You may be going through a slow phase right now. When few profits are coming in, you might get bored or impatient enough and REACT, rather than think RATIONALLY about what you should do next.† Itís natural to expect progress, but sometimes working those extra hours do not help ease the situation. Time and patience can resolve a problem, just as long as youíve done what you can about it. When the economic slowdown hits, you have a glorious opportunity to put more time into planning, or even renew ties with your family and business associates. Take advantage of slowdowns, they often donít last for long.
CAN YOU RELAX?
Whether youíve got a storefront business or running an online enterprise, you do need to UNWIND sometime. Whether you relax by reading the evening paper, watching a rental with the kids or playing golf, make sure you get your mind OFF work. I find that playing with Paint Shop Pro takes me off my worries and gets my imaginative juices flowing.† Taking the time to relax should give you renewed vigor.† So the next time you feel in the slumps, take some time to relax. That time might be more productive than what you are doing now to promote your business.
Karon is Owner and President of KT & Associates who offers targeted copywriting, ghostwritten ezine articles and marketing assistance. Subscribe to her "Business Essentials" ezine at or visit her web site at www.marketingwords.com.
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