Are You Participating?

The recession affects everyone, but you don’t have to be part of the doom and gloom. A positive attitude and positive action are more essential now than ever.

"A great attitude does much more than turn on the lights in our worlds; it seems to magically connect us to all sorts of serendipitous opportunities that were somehow absent before we changed.”

Earl Nightingale

So, there’s a recession on. Are you participating? Did you even know participation was voluntary?

No one is naive enough to think the economy isn’t hurting. In many quarters, the installation business is hurting severely, dependent as it is on the housing market. Your business might be suffering, too, in very real terms, and maybe to some degree that’s unavoidable.

But there’s one thing you can avoid, and that’s the doom and gloom. At least that’s the message I got at the Pumper & Cleaner Expo in February when I spoke to James Taylor, a sales and service manager with Footage Tools of Toronto, Ontario. He said his company is “not participating.”

Productive energy

Perhaps that’s an attitude worth trying on. Things may be tough now, but business has always run in cycles. This downward trend may be longer and steeper than others we’ve been through, but it will turn around — it always has. And the right attitude can help you be ready when it does.

Fine, some may say. But business is slow. Attitude won’t wake up dormant customers. No amount of salesmanship can make people build houses. All right then. Maybe now is the time to go to work on improving your business from the inside.

Are there best practices that you could learn by attending training? Are there new treatment technologies or drainfield designs you might be using but haven’t yet tried? Could those innovations help you down the road — or open opportunities even now? Could they put you in position to lead in your market when things do turn back upward?

What about your employees? Quite possibly you haven’t been able to keep them all on. But what of those you still have? The current conditions may drag their moods down, but might also give them a greater sense of urgency. Tap into their energy. You may find they can contribute ideas that help propel your business ahead.

Beyond that, if your customers are hesitant, reach out to them in new ways. If you’re not servicing and maintaining the systems you install, maybe it’s time to start. If there are builders or developers you haven’t approached in the recent past, knock on their doors. You might find opportunities that seemed out of reach or unappealing before but now deserve a closer look.

Let it show

Finally, now is the time to direct positive energy outward. Answer the phone with enthusiasm. Greet people you see in a business setting (or in any setting for that matter) with a firm handshake, a look in the eye, and a smile. A recession doesn’t change the fact that customers like doing business with people who are upbeat.

Anyone who makes contact with a representative of your company, in the field or on a visit to your office, should feel good energy. A positive attitude is infectious. If you carry it with you, good things can happen.

So, what’s your choice? How about deciding now not to be part of the gloom? Suppose you were to make yourself a sign that says: “Not Participating.” Hang it up someplace where you’ll see it every day. Then behave as if you meant it.

After all, as motivational expert Zig Ziglar once said, “Positive thinking won’t let you do anything, but it will let you do everything better than negative thinking will.”

There may be reasons for pessimism, but there’s nothing to gain from wearing that on your sleeve. Things will turn around. It may not be obvious how soon, but they will. With the right outlook, you can start your own turnaround today.


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