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Success: Change the Way You Look at Business

Owners of new and growing small businesses today know that the conditions of a business can change, as we have seen with the current economy. The technology that was cutting edge last year is now outdated, or worse, obsolete. Buyer moods can swing dramatically and marketing strategies are constantly changing as we need to think of ways to save money. Anticipating trends can be extremely valuable in keeping you current on everything from sales strategies and customer needs to technology tools and the general economy. Business is not growing and the challenge is what can be done to sustain, change will be inevitable and small business owners should constantly look ahead and think about ways to change the way they do things. The more you test the winds of change, the better your chances of success down the road.

  • Always try to set your business apart by doing things that the customer may not expect.
  • What do your customers need now in this economy as everyone struggles to make it?
  • Add value to your service, what can you offer that is recession proof?
  • Think about something that your customer needs that is essential to their business growth. Try to think about the next new trend.

Not all customers are created equal. Some are more valuable and loyal than others, and those are the ones you should pay the most attention to with special savings and service offers. And don’t expect loyalty from employees. As American society becomes ever more mobile and labor shortages worsen, studies have shown that workers will not stay on a job for more than three years. People are always looking for their next opportunity. Advances in technology will continue to radically change how small companies do business.

You will need to keep up. Small business owners who know how to acquire and manage information will achieve the most success. Capturing and analyzing data about customer needs, wants, behavior and how they use your product or service will become increasingly critical. Always ask customers what they want and always exceed your customers expectations. Let me know if there are other things that have worked for you?

Julie Brander - Business Mentor, SCORE New Haven
Julie has been a SCORE volunteer since 1997. She has 20 years of experience in business, starting a manufacturing, wholesale and retail jewelry company. After selling her business, she dedicated herself to helping other entrepreneurs start and expand their business. | @juliebrander | More from Julie


Managing: Recession Recovery for Your Biz

Professional Service Firms

1. Keep Sales Relationships in Place. Keep in touch with clients. Find out about their needs for the year. Even if they are scaling back, your ability to stagger projects, package a project into modules and target payments to aid their budget cycles is crucial. Keep the clients you have even if the pace of sales slows, so when things turn upward–you are still a preferred vendor.

2. Cut costs now. Don’t let any costs creep up on you. Now is the time to tighten your budget at least 10 percent. Where to start? For example, you may have Internet service from a cable company. By stepping your service down one-level in speed, you may be able to reduce costs $20 per month.


1. Move January Inventory Quickly. Post-holiday season is here. Bargain shoppers, and gift certificate reedemers may not linger–so go ahead and cut prices to move inventory.  A stale sales floor won’t move your merchandise. Work diligently to keep your windows updated and rotate merchandise to help foot traffic shoppers see fresh merchandise.

2. Slow Inventory Orders & Add Selection. Retail therapy will revive. In the meantime, look at placing smaller volume orders & adding more diverse selections. Your suppliers may work well with you on this, so that they keep your business. Shoppers impulse buys may be triggered by fresh merhandise & changing displays.

Manage with Insights from a Mentor

Why does SCORE mentor at no charge? We have a network of business experts who volunteer their time as mentors. Free & confidential. Ask SCORE for advice.  

  • Cut expenses
  • Project sales
  • Evaluate cashflow
  • Explore financing  


-Christine Banning, SCORE
  View more posts by Christine

For 50 years, SCORE has helped aspiring and current small business owners achieve their dreams. Through a network of over 11,000 volunteer business mentors in 340+ chapters across the country, SCORE connects decades of business experience and knowledge with those who can best use it. | Facebook | @SCOREmentors | More from SCORE