Business Strategies in a Challenging Economy

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Now that the US Thanksgiving holiday has arrived, everything is Christmas!  That means “year end” is approaching and the dreaded apathy that seems to permeate through businesses in January.

I set aside some time to specifically map out my Business Strategies for 2009.  I find that is more important this year than ever before with the activity in the markets and the effects on large Corporations right down to the small business owner.  Have you thought about what direction you will take in conducting your business in 2009 – budgeting, marketing, networking, staffing, offering new products and/or services?  What message do you want to deliver to your past/current and prospective clients?

In the Virtual Assistance profession, the general consensus is that we have a VERY IMPORTANT alternative to provide to all manner of businesses who are adjusting their plans to accommodate slumping sales, cutbacks, layoffs and generally “tightening their belts”.  In fact, many VA’s have noticed a significant increase in available work in the marketplace in recent months.  Not only can we provide the standard services or “niche” services we have in the past, but we can research the market and add services that may be more appropriate to these economic times to fulfill the changing needs of our clients.

An example would be any internet-based businesses.  Their marketing would clearly be focused on driving customers to their site.  Their presence on the Internet can be heightened signficantly by way of Social Networking and forming relationships with prospective clients and “alliances”.  But how many business owners, especially the small and medium sized, can afford the time to train themselves on all the facets of social networking – to take full advantage of all that social networking has to offer?  Or to devote the time it takes to regularly add and edit and contribute to all those networks where they have created their presence.  Social networking requires a significant amount of time to maintain in order to effectively promote a business.  Who better than a VA could provide that service to clients?

Besides client work and my focus on organization and efficiency, I have to start making up my Christmas list and go shopping.  A good start would be to decorate my home and office. That should put me in the Christmas mood.  Don’t forget all those social events that happen at this time of year – make the most of it and promote your business!

Diane L. Coville

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