Ken's blog is information and tips that Ken has learned over the years of coaching service professionals of various disciplines that he will share with you. His hope is that you will be able to benefit from these experiences and maybe incorporate some of the helpful ideas to improve your efficiencies and effectiveness.
Will You Be In Control In 2009?
November 02, 2008
Unfortunately, 2009 does not appear that it will be a very good year from an economic standpoint.With the housing debacle, the lack of liquidity and consumer confidence as low as it’s been in almost 50 years there is no question that this will be the worst recession since the late 1980s.
Many of us have never experienced a recession.I happen to ask one of our members who is a lawyer and is 41 years old, when was the last recession he could remember.He told me that he remembers the recession of the 1980s but he was in law school at the time. He has never really experienced a recession during his professional life.
The good times have caused almost every discipline within the service professions to increase their numbers significantly.Even though these increased numbers produced highly competitive environments, there was still enough business to go around so that the high performers would do very well and the average professionals would do okay.
The realities of this new economy will change that scenario drastically.With the amount of reduced business available to service professionals in general, you can be rest assured that there will be many service professionals of all disciplines who will be left behind.Clearly, those who are average will be in peril.Those who were high performers in the good economy could find themselves as average or below average players in the new economy.Where will you fit in?Will you be left standing?
Your ability to adapt to change will be very important.If you attempt to treat your business as “business as usual” you will probably experience some rough roads ahead.The new economy is a game changer.If you have tended to leave things to chance you probably will experience tough times not to mention a great deal of stress.
Is it all doom and gloom? Absolutely not!In fact, it can be a tremendous opportunity. Those who are not committed to their practices/businesses will fall by the wayside. Those who have purpose, intention and passion for what they do will get the results they want. It will not be easy but it will be worth it.
The new economy will require that you be very clear about what you want to achieve and what you will need to do to get the results you want. It is suggested that you clearly understand, based upon the income you would like to make and the revenue that you will need to generate your income, you target those clients in the markets and market segments where your best opportunities reside. The worst thing that you can do is to try to be all things to all people. The more vanilla you are the more difficult it will be for people to understand how to help you and to refer business to you. If you attempt to go after the large clients and don’t have the resources, your competition will probably squash you leaving an empty bag at the end of the year.Conversely, if you go after clients who are too small just to capture clients, you will probably not be able to achieve the margins you need to make the client profitable. Take the time to clearly identify “your sweet spot” to give you the best chance for success.
Now that you have identified the clients you will need to meet your business objectives, you must understand how you will capture those clients.If your strategy is that you will join and participate in a traditional networking group so that you can meet a lot of people you will probably be sadly disappointed. The notion of meeting people, collecting cards and waiting for someone to call with a referral leaves your business very vulnerable.It puts the control “out there” which is a sure recipe for high stress levels.Stress is simply feeling out of control.
Your distribution system is critical to your business.No business can leave it to chance and expect that they will get the intended results they want.Depending on investing a great deal of hours in networking when at the end of the day, it produces minimal results, is leaving your business to chance. You must target the right people.
If you build a relationship system which is dependent on it a few key people who are committed to you as you are to them via an explicit agreement, your chances of capturing the clients you need are significantly increased.The key is that those special relationships must be with other individuals with whom you share great chemistry, you both are in similar markets and market segments and the other person is as purposeful, intentional and passionate about their business as you are.
So yes, 2009 will be a challenging year.But, if you are clear about what you want to achieve and are able to build some key relationships that you can depend on it will absolutely put you in a much better position to not only survive but to thrive. It is about you controlling your destiny instead of “out there” controlling your destiny.