You’ve got to know when to hold ’em
Know when to fold ’em
Know when to walk away
Know when to run
You never count your money
When you’re sittin’ at the table
There’ll be time enough for countin’
When the dealin’s done
Now every gambler knows the secret to survivin’
Is knowin’ what to throw away
And knowin’ what to keep
‘Cause every hand’s a winner
And every hand’s a loser…
– Kenny Rogers
You have a choice when the cards are against you. You have a choice when things aren’t going well in your business. You have a choice when a slump hits – you can either play your cards differently or you can fold.
Let’s get the elephant out of the room – there are times you need to close down. Fold your hand and walk away if you are putting yourself and your family in financial jeopardy, if you no longer have a passion for your business or if you have lost sight of its purpose. In those circumstances – fold your hand and concentrate on the priorities in your life: you and the well-being of your family.
If your businesses is experiencing a slump – here are three ways to play your cards right and turn the slump into growth
1. Are You Being Seen and Heard?
The likelihood of your site being discovered on its own is minuscule. You need to put yourself out there. Out where? There – cyberspace and the real world. You need to build your network, seek opportunities where you can get in front of a new audience, reach new people, hang out where prospective clients will be hanging out. Join online groups and join rel life groups. The hardest part about networking is making sure you are being the host – be the first to introduce, be the first to reach out to someone new, be the first to say “How can I help you?” and follow through. Keep ‘touching’ or making regular contact with your network. Keep them updated on new ways you can help and serve them. Talk to their friends. Present at a conference. Write a guest post… just get yourself out there. Invite yourself to play with others. Get yourself seen and heard.
2. Are You Being Talked About?
Just because you are on Twitter, Facebook and have a website doesn’t mean that people are going to talk about you. People talk about cool, innovate things, they talk about great messages and value. If you aren’t being talked about, it’s time to revamp your marketing strategy. New marketing comes in the form of leadership. I believe wholeheartedly that Seth Godin has hit the nail on the head – people don’t want marketing messages shouted at them anymore. Marketing happens organically when people follow greatness – they follow and belong to communities that are making a difference. You are the leader for your company – and people don’t follow a company, they follow a person. You need to examine how you are sharing your messages, how and change the way you are communicating to be heard. Stop shouting and start engaging with your prospective clients. If they believe in you, they will start following you and THEY will spread the message about your business. Your job is to authentically build relationships with these influencers and continually deliver them quality to share. That’s how you will be talked about.
3. Stand Out From The Crowd
There are loads of people vying for space in your market. Last week, I talked about competition and how you can stand above the rest. Well you have to stand apart too. You have to be unique in your what you offer – why should I work with you? One of the best ways to stand out from the crowd to continually solve a problem for your audience. No matter if you are a pet groomer, a stationary designer, a life coach or a restaurant owner, you will stand out from the crowd by offering new and innovate ways to solve problems and turn your customers experience into legends. Where you are right now, today, is fine… for today… but it’s not fine to stay there. Keep it fresh, keep it moving, keep it innovate and push yourself to be different.
When the going gets tough, successful entrepreneurs hunker down, refocus, improve their practices and strive to be seen, heard, talked about and to stand out from the crowd. How do you do that in your business? Think hard before folding your cards – first change the way you play the game.