I recently wrote about how actions have consequences, and that your present business prospects have much to do with your past actions or lack thereof. In short: good times always end, and when they do it gets very hard for the unprepared. The best way to prepare is to do those things in the good times that will cause your customers to want to buy from you–and not some other also hurting competitor–in the tough times. You do this mostly by taking care of your customers in the good times, even if it means spending some resources on doing it that could instead be used then for some temporary growth or profit.
Did I mention that good times always end? Getting through inevitable recessions intact is worth a lot of short-lived but fleeting growth or profit.
Here’s a down-home example. Remember as you read that we’re in a deep recession; indeed some would say we’re in a depression. A contractor/carpenter friend for whom I have high regard referred me to a local mason to rebuild my chimney. As soon as he got out of his truck I could tell he was a squared-away guy that I wanted to do business with. I asked if he could do the work next year, and he said that would be better for him than doing it now. (Remember we are in a deep recession. Also, I live in what is an economically depressed area in the best of times (I like it here).) I asked him why he was so busy in these tough times, and he simply guessed that he must have a good reputation.
Neither this mason nor my contractor friend advertise or are listed in the Yellow Pages. All of their business is word of mouth. They do very good work, are honest, and reliable. And they are busy even in these tough times.
How’s your business doing now?