With the economy down, there has been a growing trend among churches — giving is down. It makes sense really. People are tightening up due to a lack of funds. Unfortunately, they view giving almost the same way they do a luxury item. Therefore, they stop “spending” in that category.
While a lot of churches aren’t actually being proactive to solve this problem, a lot are. Those that have realized their cheese has been moved have started to take a different approach:
- Get the congregation help with their finances. Smart churches have figured out that they are not just a ministry, but a business as well. And where there is no margin, there is no ministry. In order to keep their doors open to provide ministry, they have to rely on congregants to tithe. OK, less than 3% actually tithe, so let’s change the word to give, mmk?
- Work that budget. Not only is important to get the revenues in, it’s also important to make sure that spending is under control. Now, this is where some churches, in my mind, mess it up a little. Some start cutting programs like crazy, but don’t really pay attention to what they’re cutting. If you’re cutting missions but keeping Bunco, there may be a problem with your priorities. (Pulled Bunco out of the air. Don’t be offended.)
So what does that mean to you if you’re a small business leader or owner? Well, you can choose to be like the churches that are sticking their heads in the ground and waiting for something to happen, or you can be like the proactive ones.
- Focus on what it takes to get your budget and spending under control. But be careful not to cut in areas that are making profit. Spend time asking the question, “What are these dollars doing?”
- Discover ways to make your product affordable to your customers. I’m not suggesting the first thing you do is slash prices, I’m asking you to spend some time brainstorming about how to reinvent your line. In other words, is there a way of taking what you have, and offering a still-needed portion of it at a lower price? Does your product still fit into the time/price frame of your customer? Do you need to create a whole new line that makes more sense in today’s economy?
The longer you wait, the worse your situation may get. Get some alone time, or pull your team together, and figure out where to go from here!
What trends in your business have you already seen during this economy?
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