Challenging times come and go
In mid-2007 the world economy was facing challenging times. Some dubious financial practices in the USA led to a downturn in house prices that had many people owing more than they borrowed and defaulting on their home loans. This led to the collapse of Lehman Brothers bank and consequences all around the world that became known as the Global Financial Crisis (GFC). This was a challenging period that severely impacted most countries throughout 2008 and into 2009.
With the benefit of hindsight, we know that Australia was somewhat cushioned from the worst of this crisis due to the benefits of being the resource supply quarry for a fast-developing Chinese economy.
However, at the time there was a lot of nervousness about. People were holding tighter onto their money and not spending on discretionary items. Many were talking gloom and doom. Businesspeople were holding their breath and fearing the worst. It was a challenging time to maintain an abundance mindset.
An abundance mindset is vital
In 2008 I was General Manager of a Swimart Pool Store. We tested pool water and sold chemicals to keep water clean and balanced. We also sold pool equipment and serviced some pools and spas in the local area. I was employed by the owners with a base salary and a bonus system related to growing the business.
I focused on what we could do. I trained the permanent and casual staff to make sure they knew their jobs and were giving customers good advice. We debriefed regularly at the end of the day about lessons learned. We set the shop out so items could be found more easily. I taught the permanent staff how to sell equipment, and provide information about which pumps and filters would best serve which types of pools.
Even more importantly, I taught all our staff how to treat customers. Things like acknowledging them when we were busy and they had to wait. Making sure we listened well and asked good questions so we knew what their needs were. Helping the team to educate customers about how to better look after their pool.
These things helped us to maintain and grow the business a little.
Even in challenging times you can grow a business
I looked at the opportunities we had as a business. We had one van servicing pools and spas and that technician was busy most days. We serviced a few pools through real estate agencies, but I thought there must have been more. So, I embarked on a visitation program to all the Real Estate Agents in our area. I met property managers and got to know them by name. I told them about our services and gave them a brochure to remember us. I regularly checked in with them to see if they had any new listings for properties with pools. We developed an innovative pool checklist to show owners all the things we would attend to on a visit. We then sent the agent that completed list after every visit. No other pool service company at that time did this level of communication.
Over the next few months, we secured the business of several new real estate agents and picked up more from agents we already knew. We had to employ another technician and purchase another van.
Over the two summers of 2008 and 2009 we grew the business by 16% each season. I remember because the financial benefit to me was considerable and very welcome as it helped pay for one of my daughter’s weddings.
7 Characteristics of an abundance mindset
As I reflect on my time managing that pool shop, I realise that I had what I now call an abundance mindset. In everything I have ever done, I have been able to help organisations and people grow. I was determined that this manager role would be no different.
To help your business grow, even in challenging times:
- Focus on what you have rather than what you do not have
- Maximise what is already in your hand – e.g., train your team
- Learn to deliver an excellent Customer experience (Cx)
- Learn to listen to your ideal client’s problems and be ready to serve them
- Look for opportunities to connect more with your market
- Do the little extra that sets you apart from your competitors
- Ensure you have procedures in place that enable consistent quality service
7 Characteristics of a scarcity mindset
- Focuses on and seeks evidence for negative possibilities
- Talks about the negative and fuels fear and worry
- Kills team morale
- Does not inspire excellence
- Does not attract customers
- Does not see the opportunities all around
- Is self-defeating ensuring you lose ground all the time
Which mindset do you have?
There are many challenges for business across the world right now. Staff shortages, supply chain difficulties, and rising costs of almost everything are leading many to believe that a recession is coming. Australia may or may not be immune because this time China has its own property downturn and is still trying to eliminate Covid-19.
There are things you can do to cultivate an abundance mindset. An abundance mindset is a winning mindset even in challenging times. The battle you need to win first is in your mind.
If you would like to talk about your situation with an experienced business mentor please book a free no obligation call with me here.