How to Expand Your Business While Others Contract

Learn how to capitalize on tough times

There are two primary choices in business—expand or contract. This truth has always existed, however it may be of greater significance right now than at any other time in our lifetime.

There’s no doubt about it…

Expand Your Business

Make Everything Go Your Way.

Things continue to be tough for many businesses right now, and with the current world economic conditions deteriorating, it’s a good bet that things will be getting even tougher.

But that’s EXACTLY why today, more than ever, you need focus on expanding while your competition hunkers down and goes into contraction mode. You will be able to expand your business because everyone else is shrinking.

You and I both know that business cycles come and business cycles go. This is a natural phenomenon and it’s gone on since the beginning of time and will continue.

The point is, cycles are nothing new nor is the reaction to them by most business people new, in fact it’s quite predictable.

This natural, highly predicable reaction to the cycles is “business contraction”.

The vast majority of businesses in all sorts of industries will take the same highly predictable actions. These actions include such things as:

  • Lowering prices to attract new customers.
  • Cutting expenses to the bone.
  • Reducing staff dramatically.
  • Stopping expansion plans.
  • Halting personnel development and training.

When you focus on business contraction, you are in effect playing “prevent defense”, much like they do in the NFL.

Most football fans have learned to hate the “prevent defense,” a strategy that is employed when a team holds a lead late in the game. In theory, the strategy involves being willing to yield short completions to the opponent’s offense in an effort to prevent a big gain.

In reality, this strategy yields plenty of short completions—but also its share of big gains as the offense takes advantage of the soft coverage and protective posturing.

Hence the aphorism, “the prevent defense only prevents you from winning.”

Good News

The good news, is that this natural response to contract and play prevent defense by your competition is your opportunity to score in a big way.

So what’s the right thing to do?

The answer is simple; you need to play a relentless offense.

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not the best offense that’s good defense, it’s just the opposite. To expand while others are contracting requires that you deploy a serious and sustained offense that blindsides and overwhelms your competition.

Use this five-point plan to drive more profits, revenues, and market share:

  1. Seduce Your Competitors’ Passive Customers With an Irresistible Offer. The competition is lowering prices to keep their customers. To counter that defense, ask them what they are not getting right now from your competitors AND give it to them.
  2. Secure Fantastic Deals From Every Key Vendor. The competition is cutting expenses to the bone in an effort to stay alive. Seize the ground they are yielding by forming long-term strategic alliances with all the vital supplies. The key is the vendors are hurting too so offer them a life ring.
  3. Steal All The Competitions’ Stars. The competition is reducing staff dramatically to lower salary expenses. You are going to hire their key A-players by enticing them to join your all-star team. How? Pay them well. You will get it back in spades or they really aren’t a star.
  4. Score Big By Intercepting The Competitions’ Big Dreams. The competition is cancelling expansion plans because they are fearful of over-extension. Jump into their best ideas and use the competitions’ investment as your own. Significant time and money has already been spent. You can expand your market for pennies on the dollar.
  5. Spend On Training Your People. The competition is halting staff development and training. You are not going to fall into that trap. Take the opposite action. Invest in your greatest resource—your people. Remember that highly educated, trained and energized staff might cost you a few percentage points more, but can produce two or three times as much. Talk about great ROI.

One final point, the strongest and most adaptable always survive and prosper. How? They use good old-fashioned execution.

Go on offense, use this lesson on leadership’s five-point plan to execute your way to success and I guarantee you’ll come out bigger, better, stronger and far more profitable than those who choose the standard contraction technique.