Actually, anytime is a GREAT time to start your own business – but these days, with the media bleating about how “bad” the economy is – [insert PRIMAL SCREAM] their pessimism may be EXACTLY what you need to begin building your own dream of starting a business. There’s never been a better time to being offering your own solutions to the trials and tribulations other businesses – and the people who run them – are facing every day.
Jason Cohen in a guest post over at On Startups gives 6 Reasons Why This Economy Is Good For Startups. Tom Volkar also has a great post on Grounding your Business Vision. (For some really great tips on what NOT to do once you’ve made the leap, read Cath Lawson’s How Not To Promote Your Business On The Internet)
Why do I make a primal scream over the media’s bleating? Because I believe the media is trying their best to turn an “economic slow down” into the next Great Depression! Consumer confidence plays a HUGE role in the current US economy and when traditional media outlets spend every second bleating about how “bad” the economy is – well, consumer confidence is destroyed and VIOLA! A self fulfilling prophecy at work.
Scream “FIRE” long enough and when someone finally lights up a cigarette - people are going to panic!
I’m not saying the US economy is in “high growth mode”. (By the way, another name for “high growth mode” is INFLATION!) But I am saying that if you take your world view from the evening news, you’re doomed to viewing the glass as half full. Look at the media reporting of Black Friday sales. Remember – good news doesn’t sell newspapers which is the reason for the need to “spin” coverage. For example , Reuters reports Music retailers report bleak sales on Black Friday. See the spin? “Oh, doom and gloom! Music retailers can’t sell music on CDs.” (Maybe that has more to do with selling music via downloads than the economy.) Meanwhile PC Mag reports ‘Black Friday’ Pretty Rosy for Retailers. Same day, different report, different spin. See, PC Mag isn’t trying to sell papers – Reuters is!
Meanwhile, on the web Carrie Hall reports that Search Advertising is Strong in this “Adverse Economy”. Gee – if this is the beginning of another Great Depression – why is spending increasing on search advertising? Either business owners are idiots for spending money to attract business that doesn’t exist – or maybe things are not as bad as you’ve been lead to believe.
I’ll NEVER forget a conversation I had with a client many years ago -during a previous “economic downturn”. The day before our monthly meeting, my client had attended a networking function where EVERYONE was “bemoaning” how “terrible” business was for them. (Of course, few of them were actively measuring their advertising effectiveness.) My client joined in the bitch session like a good little networking master.
We met the following day and I was greeted with a glum, “I’m sorry – but I’m going to have to cut my advertising budget because of the bad economic conditions.” I didn’t know what had happened in the networking meeting at the time and I was shocked. The last I knew, sales were up because of our efforts.
Instead of accepting her decision, I challenged my client. I asked her to pull out her books and check this year’s sales against last year’s sales. She did and was STUNNED by what she saw. Her sales in that month were running a full 20% AHEAD of the previous year.
Yes, that’s right. My client’s perception was critically altered thanks to the networking event. She accepted their fate as her own and instead of rejoicing about a 20% increase in sales, she was ready to cut her lifeline to the very key to keeping her business healthy and growing.
Perception is EVERYTHING – in life and in business.
Somehow, the two (life and business) are magically and mystically intertwined.
If you think your business is about to collapse – believe me, even if it’s not – your perception of the “truth” will make it happen!
If you’ve been pink slipped – take this as your opportunity to do it RIGHT in the marketplace!!!
If you were recently fired, I’ll bet you could probably write a BOOK on all the things your previous employer was doing WRONG! Do you really think you got fired because of the poor economy – or was it because your former employer ran his/her business badly? (Sure, we should all try new things and do more things badly, but some businesses seem to have that as their business motto!)
If social media is killing traditional media, my response is “good riddance! Don’t let the media bleating affect your destiny. If you’re feeling the need to start your own business, now is the time to do so! However, if you think starting your own business means you can sit on your ass and rake in cash – well, that doesn’t happen often in “good” times but it’s even harder to make happen now.
Do you have a way to make something faster, easier, better? GREAT!!! Get on it! Make it happen!
So if you already have a business, start focusing on getting the solutions you offer in front of the people who need and are able to BUY what is is you have to offer! If you haven’t taken the plunge yet, make certain that in the business you DO CREATE that what you’re offering something of VALUE to your prospective customers or clients. Then hit the ground running and make it happen!
The future is only as bright as you can envision it will be!