This is no time to be making boneheaded biz moves. Of course, knowing what's boneheaded and what's not is tricky. Luckily, biz owners have a secret weapon many don't know exists. It's called SCORE, and it's a power-packed network of over 10,000 expert business mentors nationwide who offer FREE (yes, as in $0.00) and confidential (as in you don't have to sign away your privacy) advice and counseling for small business, startup entrepreneurs and home-based biz.
How do you tap this mentoring motherlode? Easy. Just visit their website, call 'em (800-634-0245) or locate the nearest of SCORE's 389 local chapters nationwide (plug in your Zip Code). For tough times, this is easily the slam dunk deal of the century.
Meanwhile, SCORE CEO Ken Yancey offers these five recession pitfalls to avoid at all costs:
- Cutting expenses too slowly. Don't cut expenses a little bit at a time. Now is the time to look at expenses top to bottom and decide whether your company needs to cut five, 10 or up to 20 percent. Do what it takes early in the year to bring costs down.
- Maintaining the same product & service mix. Your needs are changing. You can bet your clients needs have changed too. Call existing clients and ask them what they need. Then, design your product service mix around those needs.
- Reducing marketing instead of focusing on marketing. The company that stands tall, strong and visible in the marketplace has stature and status. Differentiate with strong marketing to drive leads and sales.
- Lacking systems to free up your time. Streamline your business and become more efficient. Use a handheld organizer to keep track of phone numbers, dates, appointments and meetings. Set a time each week to handle routine tasks, bills and paperwork.
- Keeping everything to yourself. Your team knows the economy is tough and wants to understand what the company is facing and how, together, you can make it through. Lead toward a brighter future by focusing your efforts on today.