Business Facing Grim 12 Months


Well I don’t know about you but I’m more confused than ever! On the one hand we’re told Australia is riding high and one of the few countries to make it through the GFC relatively unscathed. Low unemployment, confidence in the future and so on.

On the other there were reports recently that business faces a grim 12 months and to back that up Angus & Robertson and Borders stores across the nation have shut shop, Colarado, Bianco Structural Steel and Bettina Liano joining them. And our strong Aussie dollar has had detrimental impacts on tourism, exports and retail. Add to this the ATO becoming stricter on tax debt, money moving through the economy slowing down and continued general economic and political uncertainty, and Quentin Olde, partner at accounting and insolvency firm Taylor Woodings reckons “There remains a lack of evidence to suggest that the local and global economy is recovering”. Peter Strong, chief executive of COSBOA agrees. “I’m not hearing anything positive across states or industries. Business is bad and people are not feeling confident about the future.”

Sounds grim right? Business ebbs and flows at the best of times. Australia’s current economic situation though is a good reminder for us all that marketing of your business and networking activities should never stop and now is a good time to renew your commitment to marketing.

Networking events are a useful way to market your business but unfortunately many small business owners let this aspect of their business go as they get more paying clients because they simply “can’t fit in” networking events. But networking is vital for your business survival.

If you’re experiencing a drop off in work, follow up on any outstanding enquiries – this is important even if you consider yourself busy enough. It means you can increase your work in progress rather than all of a sudden finding you’ve finished and you’re waiting for the phone to ring.

If you’re a sole operator don’t underestimate the value of your friends and family. Don’t be shy about asking for some referrals if things are slowing down for you. Early on in my business I did a blatant cry for help to friends and family and it led to two strong leads, both of whom eventually signed up and are still clients today.

Sit down with a calendar now and pencil in local networking events – Chamber of Commerce meetings, Business After Hours, lunches etc – so you don’t miss them when life takes over. You could make some excellent contacts but at the very least the community will know you’re there, get to know you, trust you and eventually go to you when they have a need you can fill.

©Lyn Prowse-Bishop,

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