Surviving Tough Times Using Creative Thinking

Article excerpt

Byline: Kate James

IN the grip of tough times, many accept the apparent fact that business is going to be tough for a while. Others choose to believe that challenging times create opportunities for creative thinking. It's all in the way you look at it.

No doubt some businesses won't survive the coming months. Those that do will be the ones who use this time as an opportunity for creative thinking and a time to look at what they can do to stand out from the crowd. They'll work out how to be smarter, faster, more professional or they'll market their businesses in unique and innovative ways.

Now could be an ideal time to break free from self imposed restrictions and consider what could be possible if you changed the rules about the way you do business?

* Keep it fresh

Being in business means being flexible. Most of my small business clients tell me that the business plan they wrote when they started out is no longer relevant. A business plan should be a work in progress and to keep your business fresh, it's important to continually challenge the assumptions you make and ensure you're at the cutting edge in your industry.

* Be unique

Spend some time reviewing what your competitors are doing and think about how your business can be unique. Find a point of difference that makes you stand out in the crowd - something that tells your clients who you really are is often a good place to start.

When I commenced my coaching business nearly seven years ago, the only other coaches around were mostly goals orientated. I added meditation to my offering and it gave me the opportunity to work with clients around their business goals and their life balance, giving my business a point of difference.

* Create bold goals

When we set goals in business, we generally do so in a fairly practical manner. We create objectives that are achievable and realistic. We think in terms of incremental, manageable growth. But what could you achieve if you allowed yourself to use creative thinking and believe that any- thing at all is possible? Even in the current tough times.

A few years ago I chose a 'dream' figure for my target income for the month. It was well over double anything I had ever earned. …