>Inspiring Your Authentic Week

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Inspiring Your Authentic Week

Authentic Business Recession Busters

Posted: 05 May 2009 12:19 AM PDT

Authentic businesses, those which generate profit through the pursuit of a profound and positive purpose, have fundamental advantages over more conventional businesses.

The key advantage is motivation and in my research I found that they typically spent up to 80% less on motivation, both inside and outside the company, than conventional businesses.

However the normal disciplines of business also apply, no matter how authentic you are.

The most basic premise of business is that you sell something for more that it costs you to buy and supply. Authentic businesses need to add passion and value to that equation. The passion is their own passion for what they do, the value is the commitment to giving value to customers AND to society as a whole.

Of course many businesses that would not consider themselves authentic also provide value to customers. With authentic businesses it is the additional personal and emotional quality of the value that makes it special.

It is this unquantifiable emotional value that makes authentic business so difficult for others to emulate. For example it has been interesting to watch Microsoft try to hit back at Apple’s “I’m a Mac” advertising with price comparison adverts.

However, many authentic businesses are also experiencing falling sales and finding finance harder to access than before. So here are six suggestions for staying profitable in a challenging market.

1 – Sell What People Want When Money Is Tight. How can you adjust your products or your service model so that you can reduce your customers overall spending without necessarily reducing your own prices?

2 – Renegotiate Your Own Costs. Now is a great time to get into more of a partnership with your suppliers. In many cases it will also be in their interests to keep your business successful. Can you offer them a lower fixed price plus some kind of bonus or profit share that helps both of you?

3 – Communicate Value. Adjust your communication to help your customers understand ALL of the value you represent – especially the emotional value. How do you help your customers feel better about themselves and their lives?

4 – Focus Your Staff. Don’t hold back on engaging your staff with the challenges. They are a big part the solution. Define the cultural change you seek and find fun ways to train and incentivise the change.

5 – Get Out There. Most entrepreneurs start by networking furiously, but as the business becomes more established their focus ends up being more internal. Now is the time to get back out there and engage with people to find new ideas, solutions and opportunities. The secret to success in most creative fields is to tap into the zeitgeist of the time. The only way to tap into it is to be in the flow of it. Find the flow and step inside.

6 – Stay positive. Changing markets are also opportunities for change and innovation. Negativity creates a downward spiral. Stay aware of the challenges, but focus on the positive and use it to build up your energy and that of your team to make the changes and move forwards.

I hope that this is helpful, if you want a more detailed or personal analysis – give me a call call.

I have started a Facebook page where you can comment on these messages and on all of my books – come along and share your thoughts and observations.

Help us to create a sustainable and peaceful world:

With love


Neil Crofts
inspiration innovation motivation

+44 (0)7775 658534

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About Neil Crofts

Writer, coach and consultant on authentic business and authentic leadership. Neil has inspired and motivated hundreds organisations and thousands of individuals to their highest potential. Neil has written three published books and numerous e-books. Neil is a coach, facilitator and consultant helping people and businesses find their authentic purpose and use it to inspire and motivate them to be everything that they can be. Neil has raced cars, been self-employed, run a company and sold it, been employed by large companies, experienced growth and contraction at the heart of the dotcom boom, tried changing companies from the inside and from the outside as European Head of Strategy at internet consultancy/rock band Razorfish. Neil has been independent for over 10 years and delivered his Authentic Leadership message to a diverse range of business audiences including people at BP, Shell, Microsoft, Kraft Foods, MSN, Jamie Oliver, South Gloucestershire Council, National Blood Transfusion Service, KaosPilots Business School, Fashion company By Malene Birger, German technology company Eleven.
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