Dr. Fern Kazlow

Shattering Limitations

Changing What's Possible in the Way We Live, Work, and Age

By Dr. K. on Sun Feb 1st 2009 at 6:00 pm

5 Defensive Business Tips for Entrepreneurs

I’ve been watching the latest ice and snow storm rip through the center and the eastern half of the country and couldn’t help but find parallels between people trying to drive in the storm and how entrepreneurs are handling the recession.

The weather channel ran a continuous loop of cars and trucks on the road that, without warning, would begin to fish-tail out of control.  The back end of the car going in a direction that was never meant to be.  I could see the drivers with their white-knuckled hands clutched on the steering wheel valiantly trying to bring their car under control to once again get it headed in the right direction without getting hurt in the process.

Some skilled drivers (and some lucky) tacitly and gently controlled the skid, reigned in the car, and proceeded once more.  I could almost hear the pounding of their heart and their heavy breath of relief as the car responded to their will.  The more unfortunate did a grotesque ballet of skidding left and right before pirouetting out of complete control and sliding into another car, a gully or worse.

So many of the entrepreneurs I know are like those drivers.  The recession has thrown ice on the road for all of us.  Those who know how to respond will be on top of their game and navigate their way through.  Others won’t be so fortunate.

And just like the skilled driver who knows to turn in the direction of the skid to get control, entrepreneurs need to know their own type of defensive driving maneuvers.

Here are 5 Defensive Business tips to keep your wheels on the road:

  1. Know what the road conditions are.  Get a good knowledge base about what the recession means to your business.  How is it affecting your industry – in good ways as well as bad.  Where are the likely areas where business could change?  How can you prepare for it, take advantage of it or head it off?
  2. Keep your cool.  It’s easy to fall prey to fear, frustration or anger.  But you need to recognize those emotions, hear what those emotions are telling you, and then move through them without letting them become a prism through which you run your business.
  3. Be vigilant about what’s going on around you.  Now more than ever, you need to Power Connect with your clients to know what their needs are and discover what new ways you can serve them.
  4. Keep a safe distance from the herd.  Instead of following the herd mentality, make that Power Connection with yourself to know who you are and what you want.  It’s the only way to know if the decisions you’re making are the right ones for you.
  5. Look for the dry patches.  Even in a recession opportunity doesn’t go into hiding. Learn to be on top of your game so you can recognize opportunity, create opportunity, seize it and use it to its fullest advantage.

By knowing what the driving conditions are, keeping your cool, being vigilant, cutting yourself away from the herd, and aiming for the dry patch, you avoid the collision that may otherwise be inevitable.

And one more thing:  Even though the ice storm may be grabbing your attention, remember your destination.  Keep your eye on the future so what you do today helps lay the path for tomorrow.

Categories: Tactics

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