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When the economy is strong businesses focus on business development. When the economy is weak those same businesses worry about survival. Why is that? In this article I’d like to share some ideas about what you can do to make sure your business is always growth focused rather than survival focused.

But – from a AngelList perspective – it is extremely selfish when we are not brave enough too reach out to people we don’t know. It is selfish for us to avoid engaging with people with whom we may be able to develop a mutually beneficial relationship. I have spoken with many clients and training delegates who are reluctant to meet new people. They feel a bit awkward and unsure of themselves.

It’s the part that demonstrates that I understand something of value about my reader’s business or industry. Or, it shows that I’ve solved such-and-such a problem before or know someone who has.

Don’t ever accept clients just to keep “busy”. While it may initially seem attractive because they’ll pay the bills, accepting clients that may not be your ideal client will preclude you from being able to fully embrace the intended ebb in your business. While short term goals may be met, the longer term goals will the be opportunity cost and you’ll remain where you are even longer.

‘Plan B’ encompasses many things for example: better cash management; better debtor management; identification of alternative sources of funding; cost reduction; labour force reduction. In a ‘nut shell’ it identifies the creative ways of achieving more with less.

As a business owner, I learned that plans need to be much more realistic and broken down into doable action items that result in real return on investment (ROI) and generate real revenue so that real paychecks can be drawn.

Customers come first. The business should revolve around the customer. After all, they are the ones who will keep the business alive. It is important to get to know the target market, to identify not only their needs and wants but what they potentially need or want which they do not know yet. But the population is enormous so it is also necessary to identify the most profitable customers. Hence, the primary target has to be separated from the secondary market. However, demographics should not be the only focus. There should also be a behavioural and lifestyle analysis of the customers.

Invariably the development and execution of ‘Plan B’ is easier (less painful?) with expert help. Isosceles have guided many small and medium companies through difficult times. It’s not without its challenges but with positive action at the right time, it is possible to shape your future!