profitability and cash flow choiceHave you ever considered what’s behind your business profitability and cash flow – good or bad? Is it a matter of outside circumstances, the competition, or something more elusive?

I believe that it really comes down to a matter of choice…and action.

You have been given the ability to choose what the economy or any other outside factors mean for you and your business. That means in a very real way, we are in control of what shows up on the bottom line far more than we realize!

Most people (unintentionally) choose to act like victims when money gets tight, and blame outside forces that they feel are beyond their control. Unfortunately, when we choose the role of a victim, we get a victim’s results. That’s one reason why so many small businesses fail each year.

While it is true that circumstances can have an effect on how well your business does and how many new clients come in the door at any given time, the economy, competition or other outside challenges are just contributors to the results you are getting. The biggest influence over your business success is you and what goes on in that 8 inches between your ears!

How to Make Better Choices

First choose to change what you focus on.

As we’ve all heard many times by now, historically, there are businesses that make their fortunes in bad economies, or people who were facing mountains of disadvantages that have become brilliant successes. That just proves that how well your business turns a profit is not dependent on favorable conditions. So the question is: How exactly can you and your business succeed with plentiful profits and cash flow?

You must be able to see the opportunities that are open to you in spite of, or even as a result of, the challenges you face! Rather than focusing on “negative” impacts current circumstances are having on the way you are trying to run your business, accept and embrace what has changed, and leverage it.

Are you willing to consider a new point of view, especially if it can have a positive effect on your business?

The way to shift away from a negative, reactive mode (where most everyone else lives) and become proactive, is to ask new questions.

Start Asking Better Questions

What new opportunities have any new or even sagging conditions caused, or could cause, in your marketplace? (Chances are your competition is too busy chasing their tail in reactive mode to see these opportunities. That gives you a BIG advantage.)

Under the current conditions, how can your services or products be used in new ways that will help your clients thrive?

Could your provide new benefits or advantages that you have not yet considered for clients who may have new priorities? Said another way, what pains or problems can you solve from your clients’ perspective (possibly in a new way) based on what they want most right now?

Brainstorm your answers and write them down.

Who Are Your Clients and Who Else Could Be Your Clients Now?

Part of the shift in focus may need to be in who your clients are. If the market you’ve been serving is now inclined to cut back on using your services, who else might be MORE inclined to come your way because of the current business climate?

Are there potential clients from a higher income level who may now consider what you have as a wonderful way of cutting back? (Are they looking for economical ways to still get what they want?)

Side Note: Be careful with this one. You do not want to lower your rates in an effort to salvage clients. In so doing, you lower the perceived value of what you provide too. You might rather ask yourself how you can “value package” your services and products by bundling several together in a way that won’t eat your profits. That creates a positive solution for both you and your customers. Always be thinking win-win.

Results-Focused Actions You Can Take Right NOW!

Okay, now it’s time to get out of your head and into action.

The first place to start is to overhaul your marketing message and/or your services to meet the revised needs of your clients and prospects. Then, test your new offerings as quickly as possible, so that you can get the needed feedback to perfect them. Get that feedback from your existing clients.

If they’ve done business with you in the past, they are already familiar with you and what you do. So let them have the privilege to be the first to hear about what you’ve got that’s new! (Everyone likes to be treated like an insider!) They will likely be the first to buy and give you the feedback you need to move forward more profitably.

Make your offer and track your results. Then improve from there.

Expand Your Reach

Your next area of action is to gather feedback, make adjustments, and then find new clients. This is where your answers to the questions on new markets for your services and products are invaluable.

Going online may be the easiest and most profitable way to reach new markets and build relationships, especially if you can make what you offer available from a distance. If you aren’t already online, you should be.

Even if you only serve a local market, consider using a simple website that highlights the new benefits and packaging of your services and products. More and more people are looking for local businesses online. Listing your website in the many free online directories, as well as on free ad sites, will get results and won’t cost you a dime. Just remember to highlight benefits that solve your clients’ most painful problems, NOT who you are or the things you do. That alone will make you stand out from your self-absorbed competition.

If you can, also offer a free trial to give new clients a no-obligation test drive of what you’ve got to offer. Free still gets attention, and can get the wheels of word-of-mouth marketing turning in your favor.

Make Your Choice and Get Going

Commit to scheduling time this week to brainstorm the new opportunities that are now available to you. Ask yourself how you can provide solutions to known problems for existing as well as new clients. Then get into action quickly and let your clients and prospects know about your new offerings and/or re-designed business.

By choosing a positive, proactive mindset and taking decisive, focused actions, you will automatically be moving in the right direction. Opportunities are abundant, when you choose to go find them, harness them and leverage them to boost your profitability, cash flow and ultimate business success!.