Is your small business struggling in this recession economy? No problem. Very soon you will be able to pop a pill and rewire your brain so you think like the most successful entrepreneurs in the world. Imagine popping a pill and suddenly having Robert Kiyosaki or Guy Kawasaki in your brain. You’ll think like a business guru-no joke! Cambridge University scientists have announced that there may someday be an “entrepreneur pill” that will help people replicate the brain chemistry of the most successful small business owners. Would that be better business through chemistry?
In the Meantime …
Unfortunately the entrepreneur pill isn’t available quite yet. The bad news is that small business owners need it more than ever. Shrinking profits and dwindling customer traffic have many small business owners pulling their hair out. Luckily, they can take steps to gain a fresh perspective on their business, even if they can’t yet directly access the brain chemistry of small business guru.
If your small business is struggling, here are five ways you get a fresh perspective on your small business.
1. Give Your Business a Makeover
To give your small business a makeover you need new ideas and help from some experts. While you may not be able to afford the pricey consultants who do makeovers on major corporations, you can benefit from their advice without paying a dime. Check out Small Business Makeover section on the CNNMoney website. There you’ll find makeover case studies on all kinds of small businesses from carpet-sellers to bath-and-body stores. If you’re offering your products or services online, you’ll be delighted with their Website Makeover section.
2. Get Your Burning Questions Answered
If you want to get a direct answer to the burning questions you have about your small business, you can always submit it to the CNNMoney directly through their “Find Business Answers” form. There is no guarantee that your question will be selected to be answered, but there’s definitely no harm in trying. As a bonus, it still doesn’t cost you’re a dime. CNNMoney usually puts this form at the bottom of its articles. To locate one of these articles just Google for CNNMoney + “find business answers.”
3. Access Online Training from the SBA
The Small Business Administration has recently begun offering a number of online courses on “Surviving in a Down Economy.” The new courses include:
– Strategic Marketing: How to Win Customers in a Slowing Economy
– Down-Shifting in a Slowing Economy: Business Planning Guide
– Raise new capital / Refinance exisiting debt – How to Prepare a Loan Package
– Diversify with federal contracts – Business Opportunities: A Guide to Winning Federal Contracts
4. Look for a Geographic Cure
If you run a bricks-and-mortar business maybe you’re not located in the right place. To locate your business at the right place at the right time, check out the top 100 places to live and launch a small business by Fortune Small Business. These include the 7 tax-free havens for business (Wyoming, Nevada, Florida, Texas, Washington, New Hampshire and Tennessee) plus the six best towns where technology thrives (Bellevue, Portland, Boise, Blacksburg, Bethlehem, and Folsom). The list is nearly endless and may help you decide if it’s time to move your small business because the grass is greener on the other side of the state line.
5. SCORE Big
SCORE is a non-profit group of 11,200 retired executives who mentor small business owners across the country for free. According to their website, “SCORE offers free and confidential advice to small businesses: face-to-face counseling, online counseling, online workshops and more.” You can post your questions to their website and get an answer, usually within 48 hours. Best of all, SCORE is an unlimited resource. You can ask as many questions as you want plus access their huge library of small business resources.
So what’s the bottom line for small business owners? While you may occasionally feel hopeless you are definitely not helpless. This list is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the inexpensive resources at your disposable to keep your small business afloat. So until that entrepreneur pill hits the market, get going and get help.
Have you been using any other small business resources that have proven very successful for you? I’d love to hear about them!