By George Kilpatrick Jr.
George Fraser is an entrepreneur, author, and CEO of Frasernet in Cleveland, Ohio. He’s an expert on networking, succeeding in business and providing practical advice for entrepreneurs.
Fraser teaches how to make good connections that will lead to success.
Here are 10 tips for weathering a difficult economy, gleaned from interviews with Fraser for the “New Inspiration for the Nation” radio show.
1. Know what season we are in. It’s economic winter right now. Things slow down in winter. If you have not prepared, things will be rough. Entrepreneurs should always prepare for slow times. If you didn’t prepare, be ready to hustle harder than ever. Don’t hibernate.
2. Pay attention. Follow news. Read the business sections of newspapers. Go to workshops, training and seminars. You want to see opportunities and be ready when they emerge. There is a well-worn piece of advice that comes to mind: Sharpen your saw while things are quiet.
3. Have a strategy. Develop a plan to cut expenses. Make sure that you have considered two or three “what if” scenarios. If necessary, figure out how to get smaller — don’t let that happen without a plan.
4. Attach yourself to people, role, models, mentors who know how to make money in a down economy. Take inventory of the people in your life and in your circle of friends. You know people who seem to thrive even in the toughest of times. If people like this are not in your circle, you need a new one.
Find out: What are they doing? What do they know that you don’t?
Learn by volunteering to serve them in some way, and do what they are doing.
Apple, CNN, Disney, GE, and IBM started during recessions.
5. Add value. Very good is not good enough. Today you have to be amazing. It’s possible. Look for ways to take a deeper look at your customers’ needs. Find out what the hidden issues are. What are you providing to your customers that they can’t get anywhere else? Look for little ways to make and keep your customers happy, and you will keep your competitive edge.
6. Get closer to your family and friends for help support and encouragement. During tough times you will need the support of everyone in your circle. If you’ve had a falling out with someone, Fraser advises to make amends and end petty disagreements. It takes teamwork to make your dream work, and you need to have everyone on your team.
7. Develop multiple streams of income. You should seek to double your streams of income in 12 months.
There are several ways to meet that goal. That could mean residual income. For example, you do something once and get paid over and over again. It could mean taking an existing product or service and repurposing it. It could be from investments, or from the publishing a book, or linear income where you are paid for your time.
The days of just being employed or having one stream are over. George Fraser says he has 11 streams of income.
8. Sell. Top salespeople are among the top 2 percent of all earners in this country. Find a need and fill that need. Sell something that you love and that energizes you.
9. Brand yourself.
Like any brand you need a strategy. First, understand your particular niche, your unique selling point, your best value. Then be clear about that and let people know. Gallup Research suggests that you must, understand the needs of prospective customers, their strengths, and how you can meet those needs as well. Always articulate your purpose, point of view, and principles so that you are viewed in a way that achieves your objectives, and those of your customers.
10. Network. Who do you know? Who knows you and what is it that they know about you? Know how to make a connection by giving first, sharing always. Network to give something of value. What do you have to offer? What can you do for your potential client? Network to give, because if you aren’t giving, you aren’t getting.
This article was published in the Post-Standard, January 9, 2012
Listen to the audio here from New Inspiration for the Nation here: