Economists are in a heated debate over the economy. Some analysts say it’s possible a double-dip recession could hit later this year or in early 2012.
Regardless of who’s right, a business owner should start preparing for another downturn. The questions are what to do and how.
One sales and business growth expert says: “Just when you thought the worst was behind you, a double-dip recession may be barreling down on us. As a business owner, there’s no time to waste. If summer is usually slow for your industry, use this time wisely to fill the pipeline with new leads for the fall. Now is the time to gain on your competitors, especially if they’re killing time at the beach,” says Andrea Sittig-Rolf.
She advises, “Get back to the basics: Dial, dial, dial!” she says. “Don’t spend the summer putting off lead-generation. The summer is the best time to cold-call and build relationships, particularly if your competition is slacking or on vacation.”
• Call current customers and inquire about upcoming projects. Sign them on now for their fall and winter projects.
• Ask for referrals from past and current customers.
• Make clients ambassadors, and ask them to promote the business to others. The best publicity is good word of mouth.
• Make 20 cold calls a day. Just “doing the numbers” can make a huge difference in the amount of business one gets, as well as improving one’s skill level.
• Invest in the business. “I know it sounds counterintuitive when a recession is looming, but retraining salespeople and buying into the latest technology are just two great ways.”
Sittig-Rolf argues small business leaders shouldn’t:
• Just hunker down and ride out the next wave.
• Let the time before a double-dip be wasted, so crucial for business owners.
• Let key strengths wither now.
• Avoid preparing salespeople for a potential double-dip.
Andrea Sittig-Rolf C.S.P., is the president and founder of Sittig Inc. Her Web site is http://www.sittiginc.com