The following is a guest post by Robert Tuchman, author of Young Guns: The Fearless Entrepreneur’s Guide to Chasing Your Dreams and Breaking Out on Your Own.
We stand now with the tide of hard times lapping at our feet, and of soft, comfortable times slowly being drawn out to sea. With the soft times going and the hard ones coming, we must alter the way we live in order to persevere.
One thing you can do to brace yourself is to go back to your suppliers—to your telephone provider, landlord, car dealer—and renegotiate. Go to the people you are paying out to, and renegotiate on the contracts you had made with them. See if they are willing to pull back at all. Although they are dealing with the same slow-down as you are, you will find that they are more willing to cut you some slack than lose you as a customer. In difficult times when your revenue might slow down it is imperative that you make sure your expenses are as minimal as possible. This will insure that you maintain a healthy business and that you don’t find yourself in a sinking ship. If you are able to weather the storm during these harder times you will be sitting in a very nice position when business picks up again.
I also cannot stress enough the need for products you are selling to be presented in more detail. You must make the clients understand your philosophy and your product. Market better in these times! Understand where people are coming from: be compassionate with their concerns. Be willing to work out payment plans for potential clients. Clients are going to have the same concerns regarding their own expenses as you should about yours. Now is the time on the flip side to work with your clients to help them through these times as well. Clients who are taken care if in these difficult times will turn out to be the growth engine of your business for years to come.
With today’s adversity constant pulling on your being, implore as much persistence and fortitude as you can muster. When you are stuck and everything is working against you, when it seems like you cannot last a second longer, you must persist, for it is at that peak in struggle that you will conquer and turn the tides. As Winston Churchill said “Never, Never, Never, Never Give Up.” The good times are somewhere around the corner you just cant see it yet. I assure you that one day things will get better but you are the only person who can get you there. You and your own belief that things will pick up is what should carry you through these times. If you give up you will never know what could have been and that would be failure.
Look at today as a time to get your own house in order. Make sure you clean out all the garbage. Trim the fat off the steak. Looking inward is a good exercise right now for any business owner. You might not be able to control the economy but you control your own boat. Take care of yourself and everything else will work out.
Robert Tuchman is author of Young Guns: The Fearless Entrepreneur’s Guide to Chasing Your Dreams and Breaking Out on Your Own. The Founder of TSE Sports & Entertainment, he started the company out of his one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan at the age of 25. TSE has gone on to appear on Inc. 500’s list of America’s Fastest Growing Privately Owned Companies. Tuchman now serves as President of Premiere Corporate Events, a division of Premiere Global Sports. A frequent guest on “Your World with Neil Cavuto,” he has also appeared on CNN, the CBS Morning News, BET, and has been the subject of features in USA Today, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and is a contributor to Entrepreneur.com.