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Taking the Lay of the Land in 2009

COW Library : Business & Marketing : Ron Lindeboom : Taking the Lay of the Land in 2009
CreativeCOW presents Taking the Lay of the Land in 2009 -- Business & Marketing Business


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Golfers must consider the lay of the land when planning their next shot. Business people have to do the same thing, especially when market forces are less than advantageous.

Stay focused. Do not let people pull you off your game plan. Often, especially when markets are "soft," people jump at any job, even if the money is bad. This looks wise on the surface - any money is better than nothing, right? - but is often the very thing that brands you as a low-baller, becomes a selfperpetuating behavior, and sets up the very reason that you cannot take a good paying job should one appear.

Make something happen. I often tell my team that they should "Look for the busy person who is up to their ears in work" when they want something done. Why? The busy person is usually the one with room for one more thing on their plate and will get it done. Ever notice that the person with a lot of time on their hands is the one who is late and offers excuses? Stay busy. Work on that production or video that you've wanted to produce. If you love it, someone else will too. Build your website.

Use idle time to network. I hope Walter Biscardi won't mind, but I remember when he was in some very dire straits in his business. Today, he is one of the most successful independent editor/producers in the COW. How did he get there? He'll tell you that he used his free time to help a lot of people on our forums. It came back to him with interest. His networking paid off in jobs with The Food Network's Good Eats and other productions he has become a part of through his interactions on the COW.

I know people that say they only do work that pays. In my experience that is just another way of saying that they'll soon be out of business. My team would also tell you that I always remind them to "cast your bread upon the waters and it will come back to you as sandwiches." Just ask Walter, he's eaten more than a few.


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Comments

May I add to this...
by Mike Cohen
This article seems to be influenced by many of the threads in the Business and Marketing Forum. Here's my view on this:

If you as a small business owner are slow, chances are your past clients and potential new clients are also slow. Or at least they appear to be slow. However depending upon your target clients, this may be a good time to encourage them to invest in their own businesses. The recession won't last forever. When we're back in black, the client could have a fresh new marketing video to use right away.

Some sectors of the business world may have reduced sales, but their products or services continue to operate. Find those potential clients in your market or within your target audience for your services and go after them.

Trade shows. Attending the exhibit hall of a trade show in your town could be an inexpensive way to meet some new potential customers - unqualified leads if you will. I'm not talking about going to NAB - you already know everything about your own business. Rather, I suggest you find a trade show for whatever industry you service - boating, plumbing, driveway sealing - there is a trade show for industries you could not imagine. Walk around, see who is using video, multimedia or whatever you do, and talk to them. Then find out who does not use media and talk to them as well. This activity is schmoozing or soft selling - don't go for the kill, that comes later. You are simply qualifying leads.

I know what you're saying, "Dammit Jim, I'm a motion graphics guy, not a salesman." But if you are in business for yourself, or you work for someone else in a money-making enterprise, you are selling your services just by doing a good job for your clients at the least, or by actively seeking new work by word of mouth or hitting the pavement.

I absolutely agree that if you have an idle hour or two, don't surf the internet (unless you are reading tutorials on sites like this) - learn something new. Even doing a Photoshop tutorial or experimenting with an AE or NLE effect is a way to hone your skills.

If you have idle days then - well, you should not have idle days, there is always something to do.

Which reminds me, I have this big pile of "something to do."


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