How Do You Grab Good Business in a Bad Market?

December 16th, 2008 by | Print



Have you ever seen the game show where a contestant steps inside a booth and has a limited amount of time to grab as many dollar bills blowing around them as possible?


Let’s say that you are a contestant in this solopreneur game show. Your challenger is, Speedy, the quick-handed spider monkey. There are two booths. The “Good Market” booth contains fifty $20s, fifty $50s and fifty $100 bills with the time clock set at :30 seconds. The “Bad Market” booth contains ninety-nine $1s and only one $100 bill with the timer set to :15 seconds. To be declared a winner, you only need to walk away with $100 from each booth.


Chances are that both you and Speedy come out winners in the “Good Market” booth. Now it’s time to step inside the “Bad Market” booth. You show confidence, but secretly fear how it would look if you lost to a spider monkey on national TV. So do you go in and try and beat Speedy with speed or do you set up a strategy?


One lesson that I’ve consistently learned through working in a variety of industries is that not all business is good business. Good markets are forgiving if you grab less than favorable business. Bad markets create fear and anxiety causing many to panic and grab for whatever dollars are in sight without realizing what they may be losing.


So how do I define a business deal as good or bad?


Good business = good net profit (not necessarily revenue).


But, sometimes good deals don’t have profit. Really? As long as they are not at a loss, the following examples can still be good deals:


  • keeping your current market share
  • entry into a new market
  • testing or launching a new product or service (especially if it is an entry offer into an ascension model sale)


but, only if you’ve created a strategy of calculated costs for a fixed period of time before they must turn into net profit. Without the proper plan, these too can turn into a whirlwind of wasted energy. But, these are not the most dangerous of deals.


With big profit deals getting harder to find, sometimes you may panic – picking up one of these deadly deals:


Deals outside of your core competency.

Taking on business outside of your core competency puts you at risk of draining time and money from your core business. Revenue does not equal profit (nor does gross profit always turn into a net gain). I’m not suggesting that you never branch out. If you do, treat this endeavor as a new business. Take the time to research the market and create a plan. Otherwise, you may find yourself throwing money at advertising dollars, product / service alterations, customer support and possible returns.


Deals with customers that don’t have longevity.

Now you may be thinking that how could one sale hurt. Realize that troubled times mean more troubled customers. Before you take a deal with a new customer, have you considered if the customer is outside of your target market or if they are financially stable? Unless you have extra free time, focus your efforts on customers that will keep coming back.


If you want to get going quicker for gaining good business in a bad market, don’t spend your time grabbing any dollar that flies by. Take the time to refocus on your plan, your strategies and your tactics and win the business that is best for you.


All The Best,

Doug Dolan
The Solopreneur’s Guide


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