No doubt about it, the world is holding its collective breath. It is interesting to note that, whether or not the United States has been popular with other countries, it has become very apparent that it must be financially stable in order for the rest of the world to be, as well. But this article is certainly not a political statement of any kind. Rather, it is more of a cheer that I would like to send out to all reading so perhaps in our tiny way, we can help just a little. I have always had theories about what drives people to act and feel, and one of the things I believe is the most harmful thing a person can do is watch too much of the news.
Too much news?
Now I am not saying pull the blanket over your head and try to shut out the world, but, for the past few months, every time the television is turned on, data is being force-fed regarding how bad things are, how the economy is horrible, how much money is needed—interrupted only by last night’s local news of murder and mayhem. Right now the unemployment rate is 6%, which is up from 4%. This still leaves 94% employed. Must the things that breed fear be focused on? This is why I dislike the media so much and feel it can be amazingly irresponsible. It fosters a continual perpetuation of fear and bad news, and never focuses on what is good.
When middle-class America stops going out to dinner, stops normal shopping and stops going on vacation, the fallout is tremendous. They are the financial backbone of money being circulated throughout small and large businesses. What can we do? I know many of you reading this have seen a decrease in your business. Question: How often do you talk about the state of the economy? What are you doing to keep your business strong? Are your retail sales organized in a way so that if your services see a decrease, you still have strong sales? I know some businesses that are as strong as ever, have a growth in sales and are solid. What is their magic pill?
Attitude and hard work
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It starts with your attitude. There is nothing like a positive attitude to keep your food digesting and the atmosphere happy.
OK, back to business. Historically, there are a few types of business that always prosper during a recession: alcohol, books, entertainment and … COSMETICS! This is still holding true right now in the department stores—the numbers are up from last year. Which brings me back to the question, how are your retail sales?
Most clients have not lost their jobs; they have just stopped spreading out their money. If they have become married to the products at your spa and they feel they need to tighten up, it will start with services. So, if the better part of your income—80% or so—comes from treatments, your business will be among the first to feel the economic conditions.
If your business has slowed down, what creative ideas are you putting into place in order to bring in new clients? Are you pounding the pavement? Do you have the doors open? Music playing? Lovely smells enticing walk-ins? Are you networking with other businesses in your area? You cannot sit there and wait; you cannot talk endlessly about the bad economy; and you cannot even watch your investments every day. It just isn’t healthy. It’s like weighing yourself every day—it isn’t healthy!
From a financial standpoint, here’s a little tip. If you have credit cards (and really, who doesn’t?) and you use online banking, set up the payment schedule to be weekly. If you take your normal monthly payment, divide it by four and pay that amount weekly, your total will decrease at a much faster rate than if you make a larger monthly payment because you will be constantly decreasing the gross amount on which you are being charged interest.
Decide now if you want to keep your business open and thriving, and be cheerful and happy. The alternative is to close the doors before you lose everything. Is that really what you want to do? I think not.
To sum it up:
- Eat good food (good for you and tastes yummy)
- Turn off the news
- Read books, go to movies or both
- Go out to dinner as you did before
- Shop responsibly
- Be cheerful
- Entice new clients
- Adore your existing clients!
- Buy smart—if your company offers quantity discounts or free shipping at a certain dollar amount, do your best to buy that way. Every little bit helps.
Stop talking about how bad the economy is and do something about it. You do have the power to direct your world and it begins with your conversations.
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