According to Encarta Dictionary, the word "stimulus" is a noun denoting incentive.
Stimulus is something that encourages an activity or a process to begin, increase or develop.
Well that just about says it all.
In my viewpoint, according to this definition, we need to get busy beginning a process of something, increasing a process of something or developing a process of something.
Start at the top
I have watched with great apprehension our government leaders taking political sides or pontificating with great vigor how to address our country''s economic problems.
According to our elected leaders, the best way to improve the economy is to spend our way to prosperity.
Nice try, but it never works. Let me give you a simpler solution to our economic worries in the cleaning and maintenance industry: Go out and sell something.
Go and market any service or products your company offers, sells, leases or gives away.
The "woe is me" crowd does not understand this simple solution.
Turn things around
The "victimhood" culture is alive and well and living in our country.
These finger-pointers are looking for someone to blame for their problems when the answer is usually found in the mirror.
Now I know I am oversimplifying the issue.
There are legitimate reasons for people losing jobs and a general slowdown in work, but we can''t just sit around feeling sorry.
We have to do what the cleaning industry has always done in these times, and that is move forward.
Many of us, myself included, got into the industry because there will always be dirt — always has and always will.
It is the only thing I am aware of, besides death and taxes, that you can always count on being there.
That being said, we all have faced challenges as great as we face now, perhaps not on a national scope, but at least in our own businesses.
Customer always first
Economic downturns are a cycle of business that are repeated over and over again, and the savvy company leaders recognize this cycle and adjust the sales plan to focus more on cost savings for our customers.
We adjust the cleaning plan to address shorter-term needs of customers to build a foundation of trust and empathy of the situation but focus on the long-term relationship.
Another definition of stimulus is something arousing interest; an agent or factor that provokes interest, enthusiasm or excitement.
Now I am not sure I know anyone who is excited about the economy, but take a new look at the issue.
Someone''s problems are always someone else''s opportunities.
If we entertain an exciting presence on our role as cleaning consultants, to help our customers save money in these trying times, we could use the economic situation to become heroes.
This is turning around the malaise of most economic advisors and the "doom and gloom" they are perpetuating.
We need to understand the cycle.
We need to get excited about the opportunities that are being created.
This down cycle will cause customers to look in every corner to find creative ways to adjust capital expenditures.
If your company is positioned to help in this creative thinking process, the chances of you being cut out of the program are less likely.
Also, people want to be around positive influences during troubling times, so we adjust our message to be positive, operational and consultative, stressing our company has seen this type of thing before.
We can help make necessary and temporary adjustments in the cleaning plan through controling staff and organizing our efforts for the betterment of our company and our customers.
Remember that our country is a great place to work, entertain and do business.
The economy will swing back around just as sure as it always has.
The companies that will be the first to benefit from the inevitable upswing will be the ones that planed for it to happen.
Noted management consultant Peter Drucker once said, "The best way to predict the future is to create it."
Act; don''t just wait and see what happens.
If you are looking for different ideas to foster these types of relationships with clients, contact Dane Gregory. Dane is a business consultant and trainer specializing in working with companies in the professional cleaning industry. He currently trains technicians in the use of cleaning protocols for stone, tile and masonry surfaces for IICRC Certification. He also presents a business opportunity for newcomers in the cleaning industry in the care of ceramic tile, stone and grout, with a full equipment and training package. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, where you will find a safety program template that can be purchased or contacted at www.tilecarebusiness.com.