Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Ways to recession-proof your business: Tip #5

Tip #5: Communicate your passion in an authentic way.

Whether you run a service business, a doctor's office, a retail store... customers respond to people who are passionate about what they do. And as recent books on authenticity show us, people want to know that your passion is genuine, not faked.

What does this look like out in the real world?

Kate Stromberger is passionate about the power of beautiful things and serene places to uplift our spirits. Her shop Zazen is a lovely haven. You are welcome here, whether you buy or not.

The owners of the Bay Area restaurants Cafe Gratitude are passionate about changing the world through self-awareness. Everything in their restaurants reflects this attitude of gratitude.

The guys at Pike Place Fish Market have turned selling fish—not the best-smelling job—into a world-famous phenomenon, spawning a number of successful business and self-help books. Read about their inspiring philosophy here.

This is a docent at the San Diego Aircraft Carrier Museum (The Midway). He's not giving a lecture... he's communicating his passion and experience, having landed a jet plane over 1,200 times on an aircraft carrier deck during his service as a pilot.

It's not just nonprofits that educate. The gals at the South Bark Dog Wash are passionate about the human-pet connection and regularly offer classes to help owners better understand and care for their pets.

Takeaway tip: Reconnect with the core reason behind your work. What got you started in the first place? How can you serve your customers? How can you communicate this in an authentic way?

Here's a recap of all six tips:

Tip #1: Don't skimp on the visible parts of your business.

Tip #2: Focus on your customer.

Tip #3: Reward for referrals.

Tip #4: Re-package offerings into smaller chunks, without discounting.

Tip #5: Communicate your passion in an authentic way.

Tip #6: Offer a small thank-you.

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