JUMP-START YOUR BUSINESS Has the bad economy killed your business? Let’s get out the jumper cables.

My friend Joe Bananas owns a small business. I called him yesterday and he answered on the third ring. “Bananas Unlimited. Joe Bananas speaking, how can I help you?” I used my well-worn greeting, “Hey Joe, whaddaya know?” In response Joe says, “Do me a favor and call me back again.” Bzzzz — the line goes dead. 

I called him back. He goes through the same greeting. I ask what’s up and he asks me to call back again, then Bzzzz — the line goes dead again. We repeat this insane performance three more times until I send a text message to his cell phone,
“Y R U hangin’ up + makin’ me call back?” Then I get a call. Joe says, “Sorry, man…I just wanted to hear the phone ring. I haven’t got a business call in a week.” 

That’s a little drastic. But based on what many business owners and managers have been telling me, it’s not far off the mark. Is that what you’re facing? Maybe we can help get things back on track…or at least nearly on track.
Decide how much business you need to get by and get back on your feet. That’s your GOAL. Now plan to reach that goal by using whatever marketing TOOLS you have at your disposal. That may be your employees, a customer list, newspaper ads, emails and/or other MEDIA. Now assemble a MESSAGE that offers a BENEFIT and a call to action.
What’s the best message? Let your customer design it. That’s right. What they want is what you want to know. Basic research
can include just picking up the phone
and calling customers…and potential customers, like friends of friends. Or
hire a firm to conduct the interviews.
Go after existing customers first. They are usually the best source of business. But then go out to the next level. Who is the MOST likely to make a purchase of your product or service? Focus on them first. This is no time to enter new markets.
Everyone in your business must be on the same page and going the same direction. Lead them with a clear goal. Buzz Pishkur, CEO of Forum Health, set a goal of “10 More in the Door” for admissions at Northside Medical Center. He had a graphic created, hung posters, sent letters, talked with physicians. He got everyone on the same page. He kept it simple — and focused. You can do the same thing.
Yes, it takes money to make money. But I know it’s very hard to spend money on advertising and marketing when business is slow. So calculate, as best you can, how much you need to spend to get enough business to survive — and eventually, thrive.
When times are bad, everyone reflects the attitude of the boss. Your customers and prospects must not see your staff looking worried and upset. Likewise, your staff must see you upbeat. Be realistic, share the problems with them, but LEAD by example. Fake it until you make it. Put on a smile, and stay calm, focused and pleasant.
There’s an old saying, “Let us work as though the results are entirely dependent on our sole efforts, knowing full well that the results depend entirely on the good grace of God.” I agree with that philosophy. There is only so much you can do. So work hard and smart, but accept the fact that not everything is in your hands. 
“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing,” said Walt Disney. This is the time for you to do that. Farris Marketing has put together a Business Revival Package to help get you going again. If you need help, call or write us for details. Don’t sit around waiting for the phone to ring. This is a call to action.
Stay tuned and stay smart
Send your questions and comments for
George to Consult@FarrisMarketing.com

About The Author

  • Author | George Farris
George Farris is CEO and Senior Brand Coach at Farris Marketing. Email questions and comments to GFF@FarrisMarketing.com and connect with George on LinkedIn using the icons above.

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