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Keeping Your Business Healthy in a Down Economy

(May 2009) posted on Wed May 20, 2009

If the economic downturn has left you with extra time on your hands, why not use it to look for ways to strengthen your company? Follow the ten guidelines presented here to find new business opportunities and keep your company profitable.

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By Mike Ukena

As a technical sales representative, I talk to thousands of people in our industry every year. I categorize them by their attitudes toward market evaluation, which largely determine how likely their businesses are to survive:

The “I have always done it this way and I am not about to change now” printer This guy probably won’t be around long…unless he is the only printer in town.

The “we wait until our customers tell us what they want” printer This guy is a day late to the party. He may stay in business, but he will never be a big player in his market. It is impossible to be in front when you are always playing catch-up.

The “what have you got that is new” printer This type of printer has a much better approach than the previous two. The printer has a positive attitude and is interested in finding new ideas that might give him an edge. But he’s probably not top dog in his market because he waits for others to point out things that could improve his business—he doesn’t actively seek out these opportunities himself.

The “I need a supplier who could give me…” printer This printer knows what he wants because he’s already given his plans careful consideration. When a customer like this pushes the supplier to deliver something beneficial, and at the same time listens to what the supplier has to say, he is primed for success.

This last group of printers are the survivors. They know what it takes to get ahead and keep their company moving. I would be willing to bet that most of them are conducting business today much differently than they did ten years ago. They are constantly coming up with new products, new ways to manufacturer, new ways to sell, and other new ways to improve their businesses.


Never take customers for granted


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