The current economic crisis has created an atmosphere of doubt and fear throughout the country. High unemployment, home foreclosures, financial bailouts and inflated prices are just a few of the external factors that cause people to feel helpless and distressed. To ease the burden of fear, redirect your focus from the external factors that are beyond your control and develop strategies to regain control of your finances and increase your income.
NINE STRATEGIES TO INCREASE YOUR INCOME:
1. Update your capabilities statement. Re-evaluate your current products and services and adapt them to the changing needs and demands of the marketplace.
2. Identify transferable skills. Conduct a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis and determine where your strengths fit into the global marketplace. Determine if there are any growing industries or new opportunities where your strengths can be utilized and transformed into an additional source of income, i.e. environmental, alternative energy, etc.
3. Expand your markets. Explore new market potentials. Realize any missed opportunities on the internet, in a different region, or within diverse market segments? Tailor your marketing strategies accordingly to target each different segment.
4. Embrace technology. Upgrade and increase your use of technology. Utilize technology to communicate across borders efficiently and cost effectively to reach new prospects.
5. Sharpen your skills. Take time to increase your knowledge base. Review changes in your industry. Educate yourself on the necessary skills and knowledge in new technology and best practices to remain competitive.
6. Network with purpose. Make a wish list of the key success factors needed to succeed. Network with the intention of building purposeful relationships with professional colleagues and prospective clients.
7. Secure new business opportunities. Devise a plan to secure new business. Seek opportunities to diversify your income and increase the number of products and services offered that customers purchase out of necessity.
8. Prospect within your current client list. Review client profiles and seek opportunities to up-sale existing clients on products and services they are not currently purchasing.
9. Reduce stress and seek balance. Take time to enjoy life. Build a support system by sharing your new vision with family and friends. Meditate on your blessings and express appreciation and gratitude.
The long-term effects of an unstable economic environment can be devastating. Making and following a plan will boost your confidence and empower you to reduce the risks of uncertainty and regain control of your finances. Set measurable goals and objectives and manage your progress. Revise your plan as required to adjust to the changes in the marketplace.
Sherice L. Bellamy, SLB Associates, provides business planning and development services to small businesses and entrepreneurs.