The safety net of a buddy system works for more than camp counselors, school teachers and hikers. One of the best ways to recession-proof a business or one’s personal finances is to utilize that buddy–or an entire network of support–to help pull you through the challenging times.
Michael Wolfe of Blue Sky Services found himself in challenging times at the end of last year and the beginning of 2009. His contracting business reached an abrupt halt despite strong marketing efforts. In January and February of 2009, the phone stopped ringing and for the first time ever, he was forced to miss mortgage payments on his home.
As a member of Business Networking International (BNI), Michael’s thoughts turned to fellow member Ildiko Pali of SFforeclosure.com at Princeton Real Estate in his search for a Win-Win Solution. Hoping to utilize Ildiko’s knowledge of foreclosure and experience in the short sale business, Michael literally looked up one day to see Ildiko crossing the street in front of him. He got over feeling awkward about losing his grasp on his finances, and approached Ildiko, who walked him through his options. With her counseling, he got a loan modification on his home with a low fixed interest rate that lowered his monthly payments and allowed him to stay in his home.
In another stroke of good luck, around March of 2009, business picked up dramatically and Michael is now having a really strong year. “I think people were just frightened. I couldn’t understand why I was doing so badly because I offer a good product and give good service,” said Michael. Once that sense of fear shifted, his marketing strategies proved to be effective and things turned around. He gives credit to Ildiko Pali’s expert advice and BNI for being a big part of that turnaround.
“Always work on your network,” advises Michael. Surrounding yourself with knowledgable and experienced professionals will come in handy when looking for any type of Win-Win Solution. Sometimes, when we are down on our luck during hard economic times, all it takes is being able to put aside our pride and ego to ask those close to us for help that is readily available. Getting over that fear and discomfort to reach out to a network streamlines the process of getting to higher ground.