My mother and aunt were quite superstitious. So I grew up hearing warnings that it was bad luck, for example, to spill salt and when you did, you had to toss some over your left shoulder. When you gave someone a wallet, you put a penny in it for good luck, or putting shoes on a table was bad luck, and so on.
But my aunt’s favourite was that when the cows were lying down, it was going to rain. Now this one, may have some semblance of truth to it, and I thought of her the other day when I drove past our field and noticed that all our cows were lying down, and sure enough, later it did rain.
So what are the signs that you need to look out for in terms of your business. My mother would tell you that itchy palms meant money. Hearsay is that if it is your left hand, the money was going out, whereas if it’s your right palm, it was coming to you. So is this a sign that your business may be about to take a nose dive or more positively, just take off?
Certainly tracking your numbers is the obvious first way to predict what may be going to happen, yet many business owners don’t.
Studying your figures and where you make the most money is one way to tell you which program/product/service to pursue further, and those where, when you do the math cost you a lot to provide and are slow to sell, are perhaps the ones to drop.
And it is something you need to do on a regular basis, not just once in a while, because things change and what was popular one month, may not be three months down the road. Everything has its season.
There are other signs around us too that are indicators of how business will be. When it is a tight economy and people are scared about the future, there’s less funds available to spend on what may be considered luxuries. This may be the time to introduce lower-priced items or services or to bundle your offering.
When you see local retail businesses close down, you have to wonder what is happening? Have the landlords put the rent up? Have property taxes gone sky-rocketing? If you own a store and those around you are literally closing up shop, you need to pay attention. When there’s empty spaces around you, people have fewer reasons to come shop in your area.
Another sign to pay attention to, is what your gut is telling you. Too often as women we ignore our instincts, and yet, when we reflect back about doubts we may have had, we find we were right. So pay attention to your intuition.
None of us has a crystal ball about what the future holds, but often there are signs to watch for, we just have to pay attention.
As for our cows, I am watching them carefully as then I will know when to bring my umbrella with me.