I have certainly learned my lessons and each day hasn't been rosy (call me and we can chat - do I have stories!). I can say I've learned so much, and used each lesson to propel my business forward during the "downturn."
My business growth is not out of the fear of other entrepreneurs. My clients don't come to me because I'm selling snake oil that will cure all their ills, as some have implied. My growth comes from the passion, heart and soul I bring to my work and each client.
So, what else? What are the steps I took to grow?
- I got serious, really serious, about my business. I listened and adapted. What were my clients really telling me they wanted? How did they want the services delivered?
- I looked at my own marketing. How was I communicating about my business? What was I telling clients and potential clients about my business and how did that compare with what I offered? During times of change, marketing must be quick and agile - the one who is quick on is feet wins the race.
- I worked hard. Really hard. Yes, I talk with my clients about balance. It is important to not let work overtake your life. And, there are times where you have to put your nose to the grindstone and make it happen.
- I implemented every free and low cost marketing opportunity I could find. Social networking, in person networking (are you doing it, and are you doing it properly?), blogging, speaking, following up. A word of wisdom from my father, "people will always buy from people. Get to know your customers and let them get to know you."