Make it New


Leverage your knowledge and expertise. My clients who are successfully navigating the new economic paradigm are thinking creatively.

For example, a health and wellness studio had some physical space that they thought of as dead weight. They thought they might rent it out to an esthetician or a masseuse to get some additional income. When we met, I suggested they think about how they could use the space to make more money, doing what they do best. They came up with a service, relevant to their business, that they weren’t currently offering. They realized they could use the existing space and purchase moderately priced equipment in order to make this new service available. They made a plan for how they would purchase the equipment and are preparing for the launch next month. All a part of their plan. And that plan lays out just how their income will grow as the service becomes more popular. Did I mention they had a plan?

That is just one example. Here’s some more to get your creative juices flowing:

Ms. E owns a translation service. Her core business is sending translators out to doctors and schools. But when her billing hours started to slide, Ms. E looked into a live video translation service. It goes into production next month and looks to add a nice chunk of change to her income. And it’s always nice to diversify!

Dr. S is a dentist who specializes in cosmetic dentistry, though he has always provided routine services, too. During a planning discussion, I suggested that luxury—or in his case, elective—treatments might suffer during these economic times. But not pediatric dentistry. Parents are likely to pay to solve their children’s dental problems. So he altered his marketing plan to appeal to parents, and at the same time realized that many of these same people would be looking for cosmetic dentistry in a few years, when there was more disposable income available.

A manufacturer of neti pots now includes organic essential oil treatments in her product line.

A provider of temporary administrative staffing has gone into the virtual assistant business.

 I’m so impressed with all the creative thinking that’s going on and how it will translate into increased revenue and high spirits.

 How can you make a shift like this?

  1. Assess your resources: do you have any extra space? Any trade credit with a firm or individual who can help you come up with a creative plan?
  2. Get together some friends and brainstorm. Everything is possible at this point. Just go until something clicks for you.
  3. Make a plan. Of course, this is me, the Planning Diva. But if you’re burning up your energy trying to get the quick fix, you’ll never get to the real solution. A plan helps you make better decisions, outlines how best to use your time, money and energy where they have the most impact.
  4. Weigh short term with long term. At one business discussion group I went to, everyone was talking about reducing prices. I’m not sure that’s always the best solution. You need to ask yourself, Is reducing my prices in line with what I want to do? Do I want more clients that will pay less? Or do I want to build a client base that is more concerned with quality than cost?

 What can you do now to leverage your skills and resources to make sure you come out on top when the recession’s over?