Let’s face it, sometimes things don’t work out exactly the way you planned. While this is true for all of us, it is especially true for small business owners. Just when you think everything is just perfect, life hands you a lemon. Maybe your best employee decides to take a new job or your largest client decides it is time for a change. Suddenly you need a strategy to recover.
Sometimes you can anticipate and prepare for the changes, sometimes you just have to be prepared to react to the unexpected. You have to figure out how to make lemonade when life hands you lemons.
Recently I had a chance to relearn the recipe for lemonade when Constant Contact announced they were ending their Authorized Local Expert (ALE) Program. This was a blow for the hundreds of consultants (me included) who had been paid to conduct training in our local markets. It was also a blow for thousands of business owners across the country who had come to rely on these free training programs as a go-to resource.
Well those of us in the ALE program could have sat around and complained, looking longingly behind us, wishing the program was still around. Instead, as small business owners, we got out our pitcher and sugar and went about finding a way to sweeten this story and make a glass of lemonade.
Bryan Caplan of BJC Branding jumped into a leadership role, creating a Facebook group where we could connect and share ideas. And the ideas are flowing. Suddenly 150 business owners from around the country are connected, exchanging ideas and finding ways to work together. We are also coming up with innovative ways to continue to offer training and other resources for small business owners so they will continue to have access to the information they need to grow.
What Can You Use to Make Lemonade?
To build a strategy to recover from a setback, one of the first things you should do is to look at the resources you have. For me, our podcast More Than a Few Words was a resource I thought I could use to make lemonade.
Using the ALE Facebook group I invited my counterparts from around the country to be guests on the program. It is a win – win. I get great content for the podcast and a chance to introduce the podcast to a wider audience and the guests get a recording they can use to promote their speaking business or other products and services.
I have only recorded a few programs so far, but am really delighted with the results. Check out:
- Ellen McDowell of Your Social Butterfly talking about the “One” Philosophy
- Nick Cavara of Social Punch Marketing talking about Your Best Customers
- Cross Marketing Hacks with Vic Rajam
And of course, there is my conversation with Bryan about making lemonade
So what’s your strategy?
If something suddenly changed in your business what would you do next? No one likes to think about the negative possibilities, but sometimes the best way to be prepared is to plan for the worst.
Where do you start? A SWOT analysis will help you think about what resources you have and how they can help you face the challenges ahead.