SCBJ MARCH 2010 ARTICLE B

Published: Monday, March 1, 2010 – The
HERALD - Everett, Washington
Don’t sit and wait for success
By Mike Benbow
Herald Writer
If the recession has your business running a little ragged these days, you may want to go back to your roots.

“I believe your future success can be in remembering and being re-inspired by what you dreamed of when you first started your business,” said Dan Koffman.

Koffman has his own marketing and advertising business on Camano Island, and he was the featured speaker last week at the monthly meeting of the Greater Marysville-Tulalip Chamber of Commerce.

He encouraged small business owners not to just wait for things to get better.

He said they should first look back to re-inspire themselves, then look forward to the biggest obstacle they face in expanding their business.

Koffman said the nation’s severe recession may very well have changed the game. Old tricks to boost business may no longer work, he said.

Business owners need to evaluate the resources they have to solve their problems and to look for ways to expand those resources.

One way, he said, is to look for other business that you can promote and that can promote you. “One plus one is often more than two,” he said.

The search for more resources can also be as simple as buying a new computer system or hiring a certified public accountant or other professional to take a new look at a problem or to give you more time to focus on what’s really important.

“You may be so into your business that you’ve lost perspective,” he said. “You may need a new set of eyes.”

Koffman said those new eyes could be those of someone else or they could be your own. He encouraged business owners to step out of the box and look at things in new ways.

“You can’t outspend your competition, but you can outthink them,” he said.

Getting new ideas is an important element of developing a program to help your business grow, Koffman said. He encouraged business owners not to sell themselves short.

“Take the notion that you’re not creative and throw it out the door,” he said. He added that the solution to any problem is careful thought followed by a detailed plan. “The devil
is in the details,” he said.

After you’ve evaluated your resources, expanded them as much as you can and looked for some new ideas, it is time to do develop a step-by-step program to get where you want to go, Koffman said.

He said 2010 is the year to “step up or step out,” noting that businesses that don’t promote themselves are likely to continue to whither.

“It’s time to be thinking outside the box and to step up and blow your own horn,” he said.

Mike Benbow: 425-339-3459; benbow@heraldnet.com.