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The difference between a successful business during lean times and one that significantly struggles can come down to a few key issues.

 1. Is your product or service still a must for consumers when there is a need for people to cut back? For example, when budgets are tight people may still eat out with their family but may stay away from the higher end restaurants. Also for entertainment they may forgo the expensive country club and opt for less expensive entertainment and sports.

2. What makes you different or better than your competition? How can you make your company stand out above the rest? Think of it this way, if your competition had the same product, same knowledge and same price, why should the client work with you? It is important, especially in a difficult economy for your company to stand out. Think “outside the box” of the norm and find a unique way for your business to be noticeable and memorable, in a good way of course.

3. Assure you are running efficiently. When things are going really well, some companies have a tendency to be more lenient with budgeting and other business guidelines. When things get tight they can be forced to re-assess how they have been managing the business. Instead of waiting for that to happen, successful businesses streamline operations, put better systems and business guidelines in place and run a more efficient and effective business on an ongoing basis and not just when it is required. So as you start out, be sure to include strategies that include running not only efficiently but also effectively on an ongoing basis.

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