When it comes to this dog eat dog world of entrepreneurship, staying motivated really is half the battle. The amount of energy that it takes to really make a small business work is so immense but the payoffs can be that much greater. Here are some great tips that can help you stay motivated and achieve the success you desire.

1. Visit trade related organizations and networking group events. If things are tough for you in your industry right now, chances are others in your industry are feeling and fighting the same challenges too. Attend a trade association or networking event and see how others in your industry are handling the pinch and what they are doing to keep themselves motivated and moving in a positive direction. It’s nice to meet with like-minded people in a supportive environment, plus it gives you a chance to brainstorm breakthrough ideas with business people who understand the industry and what you’re going through. Remember to bring lots of business cards, you never know who you may meet that could use your products or services.

2. Look for other companies that complement what products or services your company provides, and build a strategic alliance with them. When you find another company who is interested in establishing a strategic alliance with your company, first discuss how you can provide added value for their clients. Then discuss how they can provide add value to your clients. Share one or more of your client lists with each other; this will give each company a boost by providing a new client base to start marketing to. I don’t recommend that you just hand your client list over to your new found friend, but maybe put some collateral material together that they could pass along to their clients explaining your products and services. When a new strategic alliance client shows interest you can promptly follow-up with them, and if they use your products or services you will give a referral fee to the strategic alliance company. Make sure you do your homework and research before you establish and enter into a strategic alliance with any company. You do not want to get involved with another company that has a bad reputation in the industry?especially, one that will hurt your company’s reputation too, in the end.

3. Take some time to study new industry products and services that have recently become popular in your industry. For example, when I owned an electrical company we had a period one winter when things had slowed down drastically. Instead of sitting in the office and worrying about what I could do to make money, I took a class on a new lighting system that had just hit the market. When I got back from the class I spent the next few days putting together a new company marketing brochure on the new product and sent it to all of my former clients. Before I knew it my company was booked for the next 3 months installing the new lighting systems. It motivated us and pushed over the hump, and it kept us from having to lay-off employees due to a continuing drastic drought. We now had a new product to offer to our clients and a jump on other companies in our area.

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