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During tough economic times, like the global one we’re now all facing [whether you own a small or large business], surviving becomes the mantra. This requires a strategy that’s well thought out, determined, and very focused.

Once you’ve established your plan and you’re armed with all the right tools, today’s instant gratification and merciless marketplace is still going to demand more of you than you can imagine.

Here are 10 small business strategies to help steer your company in the right direction to economic success:

  1. Don’t Look Back: You’ve got only one direction, and it should be proactively fast forward. It would be really easy to spend time thinking about how you arrived at this point in time. While understanding how you got here is beneficial, rethinking about it in a negative way is going to paralyze you for forward, positive movement. As the old song goes, “Accent the positive, eliminate the negative, and don’t mess with Mister in between.” The sooner you move on, the earlier your keys to success will be revealed.
  2. Create the new business plan: Pull out your old one to look at where you’ve come so far. If you never had a plan, it’s time to create your target. As a business professional, I’ve run into many companies who never created an initial plan. If you never have, it’s time. How can you know where you’re headed if you didn’t bring along the map?
  3. Prioritize your goals: Begin with what is your most important objective and create the list from most important to least important. This becomes your road map.
  4. 4-R’s ~ Relearn, Revisit, Reconsider, and Reinvent: What’s worked in the past and what’s become outdated? Think about it all, then get ready to reinvent your methodology. Gather a few really great “how to” books and/or sign up for specific classes at your community college that will help you to better understand how to expand in another direction that will still guarantee profitability.
  5. Practice the psychology of interpersonal relationships: Understanding your customers’ needs is paramount to successfully moving forward. To think that you’ve got the answers, before you have an empathic understanding of the others’ needs, will slow your process.
  6. Again, practice the psychology of interpersonal relationships: This time, it’s important to have your customers understand where you’re coming from.
  7. Proceed cooperatively: Once you and your clients are in accord, keep it going in that direction. As time consuming as constant communications are, they’re very important. Letting a customer drift is just that… drifting. A lot can happen in those dangerous waters.
  8. Continually self renew: When you don’t bring in new concepts and ways of being innovative, the ship’s going to pass you by.
  9. Connect with peers: Business groups will provided important resources for how the business world is evolving in your industry. Innovative ideas will always be discussed, and you can decide what works and what doesn’t, but remain open before you completely decide something won’t work for you. Adjustments could be easily made to fit your business model.
  10. Use low budget marketing: In tough times, the first thing to go is marketing; however, with less advertising and marketing being done, the opportunities for growth is greatly reduced. This is a downward spiral, so get creative. Perhaps a full-time employee may be too difficult to support, but a part-time employee or an outside agency that has established relationships that they’re continually nurturing might be your best answer.