In the book “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” after Earth is blown up, Arthur (the main character) is presented with a small computer (not unlike an iPhone I’d imagine) with these words on the front — “Don’t panic.” Arthur finds this oddly comforting, even though Earth is gone and he is on a spaceship with a guy he really didn’t get along with too well when they were both on Earth.
Although no one said those words, that was the underlying theme of this past Dan Kennedy/Bill Glazer Superconference. Don’t panic. Yes we’re in a recession. Yes the government is doing crazy things. Yes we have pirates and pig flu and everything else. But you shouldn’t be panicking because it’s very possible for us to not just survive but thrive. (Hey, if Arthur can keep from panicking after watching the end of the world, we should have no problems.)
So what can we do? In a word — lots. Here are 3 things to get you started:
1. Don’t allow what’s going on to paralyze you. Over and over again we kept hearing stories about business owners who have just stopped doing anything. Whether it’s from fear or because they believe it’s not going to make a difference so why bother or they think this is smart to hunker down and do nothing while they wait things out, the end result is they’re frozen. And because they’re frozen, their businesses are dying.
Now is not the time to be doing nothing. Now is the time to be doing something. Lots of things. Like marketing. Lots of marketing. In fact, this is an excellent time to be marketing because your competition is probably panicking and frozen and hiding in a closet somewhere, so you have the chance to not only solidify YOUR position but take customers away from your competition.
2. Work harder. Ivanka Trump came and spoke to us, and the biggest thing I took from her is she works 16-hour days. Yes she’s rich. Yes she has a trust fund. Yes she’s in the family business. And she works her little tush off.
Now, I’m not necessarily advocating ignoring your family and your health and everything else and just focusing on your business. What I AM saying is if your business isn’t where you want it to be, rather than shutting down or doing less, try doing more. Whether that looks like hiring someone to do a marketing campaign for you or you get some systems in place to free up your time so you can focus on other things or you roll up your sleeves and do things you wouldn’t normally do, you might need to do more right now rather then less.
3. Fix any fundamental flaws. Dan said what’s really happening right now is the recession is exposing flaws in businesses that were always there, it’s just before the businesses were making money despite those flaws. So, again, don’t panic, don’t shut down, and look at this as an opportunity. You’re able to fix problems in your business so when we do come out of the recession, your business will be that much stronger.
And the most important thing to remember — don’t panic. You CAN not only survive this but thrive.