No one does it on purpose. Who would? Why would they? Yet I’ve seen it. I see it now. Something negative happens. People hit a wall with their business. They pull back, retreat to safer ground to protect what they have. They question their commitment, their strategy, their decisions. This sort of risk mitigation can be a good thing
The problem happens when we start thinking poor.
Is Thinking Poor Managing Your Business Down the Drain?
Whenever an unexpected life event, the economy, or kismet puts a hitch in our giddyup, it’s a natural response to question how we got where we are. Panic or just sheer exhausted frustration can lead us to believe our thinking was wrong from the start, that it’s time to change direction and save what we’ve got before we lose it all.
That’s thinking poor. Thinking poor leads us to throw away the good things without seeing them and to increase our chances of following them down into that hole. Some great examples of poor thinking include:
- slashing the marketing budget across the board … reaching fewer customers won’t grow the business
- discounting prices for unlimited periods … customers who value us only for discounts will leave when they’re gone
- reducing services … just tells customers we don’t value them at the time we need them most
- raising prices … passing on our pain to our customers doesn’t win their loyalty
We’ve seen plenty of examples of ways businesses think poor. Thinking poor is a reaction based in fear and weakness.
Great businesses work from strength, strategy, and commitment. We evaluate where we are, what got us here, and how we might adapt to keep moving forward. To do that we go back to the original strategy and check every premise to see which are still vibrant and which no longer work in the new environment. Here are some questions to help you do that.
- Which parts of our old strategy still truly brings us closer to our customers? Which parts no longer work in the current market?
- Which are our most robust markets? Who are our most reachable customers? How can we celebrate them and make them heroes?
- What do those customers value about our products? How can we find out what they wish we would leave out of our offer? How can we invite them to help make our business stronger?
- What small, high-value enticements might we add to our current offer that would get new customers to try us and entice old customers to try us again?
- How might we repackage what we’ve offered before so that it becomes a new and vibrant offer for a market of customers that has already shown interest in what we are doing?
- How can we invest more in skills, services, and learning how to get closer to what our customers want?
Each of these questions is centered in becoming more intimate with the people, the customers, who grow our business.
Delivering service, product, and value to customers by listening to those who are nearest to us is the fastest way to grow a thriving, stable business.
And it’s more fun than thinking poor …
What are you going to do today to start growing your business?
–ME “Liz” Strauss
Work with Liz on your business!!
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