Business Building In Tough Economic Times

By Robert Craig –

Sometimes being your own boss and running your own business isn’t all that its cracked up to be. Calling the shots, not having to answer to a crazy boss, making your own hours. Sounds good but the reality is, for most business people, it doesn’t quite work out that way.

The problem with most businesses is that the owner(s) do not run them like a business should be run. They treat it more like a job with really long hours.

A business is supposed to throw off money and give you more life. The hard fact is that for a lot of businesses, it does just the opposite.

There seems to be a lot of ‘outside’ reasons for this. Economic downturns, job losses, federal and state budget woes, hard to get credit and the like. While these are all challenges we all experience, it is usually not the cause of the woes of small businesses and their owners.

And we business owners may use these outside happenings as excuses. Actually, for all the pain they cause, economic downturns allow us to discover new areas of growth that are, in many cases, more plentiful in hard times than when things are going great guns.

If handled properly, bad economies can be the catalyst for business owners to take their business to new levels…if you know how to benefit from tough times. Tough times ‘weed out’ players that are looking backward wondering what happened. You, on the other hand, are a proactive player seeing the finish line while others are dropping out of the race.

In tough times people get scared, some to the point of terror. In good times most business owners do not see all the opportunities in their business and markets. In tough times, when they begin to struggle, they certainly will not see the opportunities.

Thats where you come in and pickup all the dropped batons and run all over the competition. In this economy, as well as in any economy, you can succeed like never before.

There are many reasons that so many businesses get stuck and stay stuck. I’ll touch on four here that will give you some idea of the possibilities:

1. Not having a mindset of ‘growth thinking’ in all aspects of the business.
2. Not measuring, monitoring, comparing or quantifying results.
3. Not having detailed, strategic systems and marketing plans with specific expectations.
4. Not know how to design, setup and implement the correct and specific goals.

There are more, but for the most part, they play off these, and are just outcroppings of these. And the problems of not having these things in place at all times is just magnified in tough economic times. And we are not by any means out of the woods yet with the contracted overall economy.

When times are good, everyone looks like an expert or formidable businessperson, but in reality, many are just being carried forward by the rushing river of prosperity. When real estate is booming, anyone can be a real estate agent, or loan broker, or appraiser, or property inspector, or investor. But when the brakes hit, the fields are weeded out and only the cream of the crop are left standing.

Look, many of your competitors who did not, and most likely will not, tend to their businesses are struggling to stay afloat or have already gone out of business…Leaving more of the market pie for you.

Taking charge and control of your business now will ensure that those problems will not happen to you. But how do we do this?

Well, you need to have clarity about what problems you’re confronting and trying to solve. You need to get clear about what your business is, where it is headed, and where you want it to be headed. You need to devise plans, systems and strategies to meet your business and personal goals. And you need to get them implemented asap.

“Its too much work” you say. “If I knew how to do this I would have done it already.” Think of it this way. When you need legal advice, you go to a laywer. If you need medical advice, you see a doctor or health practitioner. If your car makes funny noises, you see a mechanic.

It’s no different with the health and working of your business. Just as your body or your car is made up of many functions, your business has a number of seemingly independent areas that, when fine tuned and working together, make your business hum along nicely, running on all cylinders. Areas like, marketing, sales, finance, production, employees and human resources. and taxation.

When embarking on a course of changing the way you do business, perhaps it’s time to think about investing in a business mechanic, a business coach. Someone who has the experience and training to take an ‘outside-the-forest’ panoramic view of your business, identify areas ripe for exponential growth, drill it down to specifics, and then take you by the hand in what is most times the toughest part… the implementation of the plan, then provide the follow up and assistance to get past hurdles, and then quantify the results, adjusting course when necessary, while motivating owners and staff to stay the course and keep enthused about moving forward.

Change for most people is difficult. One of a coaches key roles is to expand the mindset of owners and people involved in the business to be able to cope with change. The human mind is protective mechanism which for the most part tries to protect us from danger. And to the primitive part of our minds, change is a danger.

So we methodically move you out through the “terror barrier” and being there to absorb the ‘dangers of change’ with and for you. Through this program and going through these changes, you will grow in quantum leaps, and what seems scary now will be a piece of cake just a few short months from now. This ability to handle new things will assist you in every area of your life.

That being said, we work to make this all palatable and comfortable for you, but, the plan is not to grow sales in comfortable, little increments. It almost takes as much effort grow you sales by 10% as to grow it by 100%, its in the strategies. And to move out of your comfort zone to grow it 10% sends the same ‘scary’ signals to the ego that doubling your sales does…so, why not just go for the home run.

It does cost to have this done…but the cost of doing nothing is even more expensive, and sometimes devastating. A business will take care of you as long as you take care of it. And a business tended to properly will let you do the things you really want in life.

On the flip side, an untended organization will have you experience more and more pain. The saying “time heals all wounds” certainly does not apply to a neglected business.

96% of all small businesses will fail within their first 5 to 10 years. And 80% of those fail within the first 2 years. Dunn & Bradstreet surveys indicate that 90% of those fail due to lack of skill and experience on the part of the business owners. It’s not that the owners aren’t doing anything…it’s that they are in many cases doing the wrong things.

What is it worth to you to; double your sales, manage your time better, manage your employees better, hire superstar salespeople in your business, cut unnecessary expenses and waste, improve your accounting system, to save taxes?

So how much does this cost? Unfortunately, there is no ‘one size fits all here.’ Different businesses have different needs, different sized businesses have different levels of hands on work to do. Some are disasters and others just need a bit of tweaking here and there for big results.

I will say that businesses routinely spend $5,000, $10000, $25,000 and more for 3 or 4 day seminars on business development. Top consultants charge $3,000 an hour. Others will come out on-site for $750 per day. Some programs out there have fees ranging from $350 to $3,500 per month, depending on the level of service, to provide business building services. And people pay these all the time. Why? To be proactive and to get results.

I generally don’t like the ‘weekend seminar’ or the one day sporadic marathon approaches. In my experience, they don’t address the biggest issue in change, and that is consistency. Creating new habits and systems over a period of time is the key to lasting change.

I can come in and charge you $750 a day for ‘x’ number of days, and tell you to implement strategies ‘x’, and ‘y’, and ‘z’ and then leave. But, the chances are you won’t do it.

No offense meant. its just that, in the course of day to day battles in the workplace, owners and managers spend their days ‘putting out fires’ and getting robbed of the hours in their days and end up putting off the changes till tomorrow. Like tomorrow is going to be any different. So the plan gets put off to tomorrow, and the next day and the next until…the plan is a distant memory and, so is the money you shelled out for the program.

Think of all the things in life where we… ‘know what to do…but we just don’t (or won’t) do it’.

In this frenetic world we live in, it is one thing to ‘want to do something’, ‘need to do something’, ‘be convinced you must do someting’, but in the end, do nothing. To get from where we are to where we want to be, we must TAKE ACTION! Einstein said, “nothing happens until something or someone moves.”

My goal is reach out to a select group of businesses to work with to turn their businesses around so their businesses can serve them instead of the other way around, so that they can start living their dream life. Increasing income, reducing stress, getting more done in less time, and more. These are life changers and well within the realm of achievability.

“It shouldn’t be all about the price…It is about the R.O.I. The return on the investment.” If I spend $1,000 to make $10,000, thats a good return on investment.

As for price, I am flexible to be able to work out the solution that is right for your business and price it accordingly. We’ll discuss all options available to fit your budget while getting the level of service your business requires. Call Bob at (805) 264-3305 for a free, confidential consultation.

It’s not enough to just say, if I increase sales all my other problems will be solved. Agreed that it is the tact that many, if not most, businesses take when experiencing financial woes. But that by itself is just a short term solution.

If throwing money at problems always worked, why did our economy not have a long term rebound after all that stimulus money was thrown at it? Because the underlying problems were not and have not been solved.

How can marriages where the household has tremendous income end in divorce? There are other issues that haven’t been dealt with. Why do statistics show that lottery winners are for the most part in worse shape two years after winning than before they won? Other areas of their life and mindset were not prepared to handle the windfall.

I’m sure you’ve heard the expression…”The Whole Is Greater Than The Sum Of It’s Parts.” This holds true for business too.

Imagine feeling in control of your business and destiny for the very first time. What will your business and life look like one year from now if you do nothing. How about five years?

Now imagine what your life will look like down the road if you doubled your income, reduced the day to day stress, built up your investments and retirement accounts, had more free time to spend with family and friends, were totally debt-free, were able to afford eating at the finest restaurants, and were able to take more, longer and more exotic vacations.

Which picture do you like better? How does it feel? It’s probably ‘music to your ears.’

Well, Lets Get Started Today

Give me a call today for a free confidential consultation and business assessment to determine what your companys key leverage areas are for it to flourish, thrive and prosper in this economy, and any economy. Your business is to your life what you heart is to your body. Doesn’t it make sense to take care of it?

Remember Einsteins quote, “nothing happens until something or someone moves.”

Call Bob at (805) 264-3305

Check out my website:

I am only able to take on 6 clients at any stretch in time. I currently have 3 openings due to program completions. They will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis, so call now.

Robert W. Craig, E.A. Tax and Business Development Services
1444 Aarhus Drive
Solvang, CA 93463
Telephone: (805) 264-3305

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