How to grow your business out of a crisis

Here are some critical lessons from three businesses that are growing in the middle of this recession…

I’ve seen a recent pattern now with clients who are growing and profiting – in this recession and want to share them with you.

I think it is a message that will help other businesses see their way to more sales and profits.

And I think it is a sign of a coming sunrise that many don’t see in the dark of night.

There’s a saying that “crisis brings clarity”. And clarity brings insight. Insight brings breakthroughs.

So, I’ve seen a trend of business begin to experience breakthroughs as a direct result of the unwanted clarity this market is bringing.

I have a client who has a private practice.

For first time his practice is full because he did something different. He did something different because the market forced him to.

As a result, he’s more profitable than when the market was “exuberant”.

Often when things are going well enough, we don’t stop and do the hard analysis of what in our business is working, what isn’t, and why. But when we are forced to do the hard work by a hard market, new business growth insights are discovered.

I know of another small business that was doing very well. Their business model has been running flawlessly the last 10 years.

But when the markets turned ugly a year and a half ago, their revenue plummeted in half.

Finally, they had to take a hard look at their business, their marketing and expenses. They discovered that the law of 80/20 was at work in their company – 60% of their profits were coming from only 1/25 of their effort.

So, they were able to slash their marketing budgets by focusing on that single market – and increase their profitability.

Next, they had someone analyze their marketing methods and messages. With a few simple changes their cost per lead dropped from $28.00 to $10.49 within a week.

Yet another business owner operated a contractors supply store. When the market turned, their revenues dropped a heart stopping (and business killing) 85%.

It wasn’t their fault. It was pure market forces that brought the crisis.

Yet, after looking hard they were able to find small leverage points in their marketing that began bringing in new customers and contractors for virtually no cost and no effort.

What’s the point of these examples?

That even in a brutal market, there are ways to grow your business — even if you don’t think it is possible and your budgets are non existent.

Further, the insights and discoveries of how to grow a business in a brutal market are going to fuel success and growth in the years ahead beyond what is being predicted now.

It is inevitable. As business learn to grow in tough times, they bring light to a dark market and show others the way.

2 thoughts on “How to grow your business out of a crisis”

  1. Love this post–and its photo! And I’m especially cheered to read that the pattern you’re seeing in clients “…is a sign of a coming sunrise that many don’t see in the dark of night.”

    From your mouth to G-d’s ear. : >

    The economic downturn forced many of us to put our businesses under magnifying glasses. What we saw didn’t look so good.

    But to your point, in some instances the flaws hadn’t appeared with the recession–they’d always existed. Now scrutinized they can be corrected.

    And aside from hand-wringing and longing for auld lang syne–and a go-go economy–is there any real alternative?

    Thanks, Robert.

  2. Thank you for the comments Lorraine,

    I’m definitely seeing a trend of business owners who have been playing “duck and cover” begin to realize they need to “make something happen” instead of wait it out. And I’m seeing business owners discover new ways to grow, new paths to profits.

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