3 Ways to Opt Out of Any Downturn and Succeed No Matter What the Economy Is Doing

I try not to watch the economic news too much anymore, and I truly believe that limiting my dose of woe-is-me economic reports has helped me break all revenue records this year. My year-on-year growth is in the triple digits, so I can happily say “What downturn?”

It was pretty unavoidable not to hear about last week’s job report and the wringing of hands that followed. If you’re interested in simply opting out of all that mess and creating your own economic success, then here are three tips.

1. Take your customer service up several notches.

Don’t just serve your customers; wow them with an exceptional experience or product that they will remember and tell their friends about. You can implement this one a couple of different ways: by delivering speed, quality, personal service, customization, extreme value, or memorability.

You’ll need to spend some creative time thinking how you can improve your customer experience, or ask your customers what they want, and deliver it. If you need to send employees to communications or customer service school or hire new ones who are already trained, then get it done. It’s an investment that will pay back.

When you can create raving customers who tell their friends, you will have your own economic boom going on.

2. Take more responsibility.

The more responsibility you are willing to take, the higher fees you can command. A lot of people don’t make this connection, so you may need to think about it for a little bit before it really sinks in. CEOs get paid more for responsibility they take on related to company performance. Entrepreneurs get paid more compared to employees because they take more responsibility. Taking more responsibility means taking more risk, and many people shy away from that. Which is why it’s such an untapped opportunity.

At the basic level, provide some guarantees of your work. You might consider guaranteeing satisfaction, accuracy, or results. The more you guarantee, the more value your client will receive. In order to provide these guarantees, you’ll need to make sure both parties perform at some agreed upon level. And you’ll need a way to measure what you are guaranteeing.

There are lots of ways you can take more responsibility. Be more proactive. Make suggestions outside your scope of services if you see an opportunity for the client. Don’t always be a “yes” person; disagree if you know the client will lose money on a decision they just made. Offer improvements when you notice them. Keep your skills updated and sharp so you can offer new solutions to the client.

3. Maximize resources you have already acquired.

It’s a rare meal that I don’t eat everything on my plate. I learned it from my dad who grew up in the Great Depression. In the same way, we need to use all of the resources we already have access to in our businesses. That way, we can keep our companies lean and mean. Here are a few examples:

• Utilize all the benefits that come with association memberships. This includes vendor discounts, online profiles, and more.
• Implement ideas you learned from training seminars and conferences.
• Take a look at any staff you may be underutilizing.
• Rent out any unused office space and collect some extra revenue each month.
• Watch the number of software licenses you own and don’t oversubscribe.
• Drop phone lines that are not needed.
• Use interns if you have the staff to train them.

Take a look around, and see what you already have that you can benefit from. I’ll bet you find gold.

If you’re ready to make your own economic history, start with these three ideas, and let me know what you think.