Here’s the thing…
You’re just about keeping your business going in these lean times. You’re getting some business in – from well-established customers and clients maybe – but no growth. Everyone you speak to seems to say the same thing: ‘Things are very tight… and we’re just fire-fighting presently…’
Now I’m not going to rose-tint here. In your location, if there are no customers for what you are selling, then follow the spider’s philosophy of spinning elsewhere. No amount of positive thinking will make a market where there is not one.
BUT New Age philosophers often spout off about ‘abundance’ or ‘poverty’ consciousness. They mean a mind which is predisposed to see opportunity aplenty in its environment or one predisposed to see absence.
You can experiment with this.
Focus on the idea of chicken. And for the next 24 hours I would like you to spot chickens, wherever you are. I did this last week and it was remarkable: 7 in total over one day. They’re everywhere, chickens, when you look for them…just like opportunities.
But seriously, here are some thinking hacks when you need to rescue a slipping-towards-absence mindset:
Could you look more forensically at where people are who want what you offer? Linked In gives you opportunity to find small manufacturers in the east of your closest city, for example. There were 871,000 groups on Linked In in March and there are 100 million members.
Good detectives check their hypotheses early and frequently. You can too. Explore ideas for growth you have with people who may want you offer. There has never been so many ways to get into conversation.
And where is growth occurring? Care sector, technology, high quality information products are all well-starred. Where your customers and clients are growing, your enterprise could be too.
Though I’ve failed to find description of it online, I believe it was IBM who conducted research into employees responsible for greatest innovation. A distinguishing characteristic was their promiscuous curiosity. This manifested itself by them turning up at all sorts of tangential conferences, meet-ups and networks, often quite laterally related to their core activity.
Result? They brought back very useful intelligence for innovation.
My gift to you, then: a reason to put yourself about.
A person who nethubs does more than network – they put themselves at the centre of their web of connections, introduce people online, set up meetings then leave after the intros. They’re at the heart of a community where they look out for their members.
Carole Stone is a fine example of someone who’s made great business out of this.
Are you losing heart because of repeated rejection, people not ‘getting’ it or because people can smell your desperation? Are you resorting to default coping behaviour (repeatedly tidying your office for instance, so your customers can somehow sense and be attracted by your orderliness..)? – which may not make for most useful tactic.
Stop. Do this – the opposite. Have a disorderly and enthusiastic update with your customers instead…
Be honest here. Wouldn’t it be totally cool to be like Tom Haden played by Robert Duvall in The Godfather?
Customers and clients who trust you are most valuable. They may be straight about whether they can afford you or not – and if not is the case, may helpfully point you in another direction.
I don’t want to preach here – but customers and clients also sense if you know your stuff, if you’re after a short-term buck or whether you want to build a long-term relationship, where you can offer advice which may not always be advantageous to you…
Trust. Evidence. Expertise. Advice. Are you building and working them?
Call me crazy, but for the explorers, learners and inventors amongst you, I don’t believe there’s been a better time to be growing an enterprise.
In March this year, there were 2,095,006,005 people recorded as being online. You just got to find them.
Go count those chickens.