Don't be Chicken Little and look for the worst in things. The economy is going through a shift and the market is unstable. Small businesses still need technology and they need smart solutions to streamline their business more than ever. This is a true opportunity for those of us in this industry. It is a great time to GROW our small business.
Although there is a great opportunity for new business, it is important to be conservative and SMART. Watch your money and pay attention to the things you spend it on. CMIT held a wonderful Town Hall meeting with all of our franchise partners today. Jeff Connally covered some great tips on success in uncertain times. His points were dead on and many were repeated in two good articles I read today.
First, VAR magazine
highlights some ideas for how VARs can beat the recession. Some of the key points are summarized below:
- Take this opportunity to HIRE new staff. There will be some good labor looking for work so snatch them up for fresh ideas.
- Sell on ROI and don't under value your services. A dollar saved is a dollar made (something Joe Williamson has been saying). It is true that companies are looking for ways to cut so sell them on the value of outsourcing IT to save money. I could write on this topic all day but you get the picture.
- Review the industries you target. Health care, public safety, education and government have a budget to spend so maybe you need to refocus who you are marketing too.
- Increase your marketing as it more important then ever to keep marketing. Many people cut back since they are uncertain how much money they will have over the next few months. This is the worst thing you can do b/c rebuilding the momentum will take several months. IT services are still needed so don't stop marketing - this includes networking events.
The article covered 10 tips so I suggest you take a look
The second article is a blog from Karl Palachuk
on how to make money by being better organized. He provides some common sense examples on how to protect yourself and not let client's run all over you. Some examples he gives are to keep track of all your time and get invoices out on a regular schedule. If you wait, you tend to forget and your time is valuable. Don't think that not billing for everything is being a nice guy. It isn't; instead, it is just being a stupid business person. Charge clients late fees and invoice a net 30 policy (I would say it should be a net 10). Make sure you track your money in a tool like Quickbooks and stay organized. It will PAY off.
Good luck and good selling. Make these uncertain times a great opportunity to grow your business!