Disagreement Can Be the Key to Success
Is the economy slow? I hadn't really noticed. Okay, so that may be an exaggeration, but the point is that I haven't let it get to me, and most importantly I've decided not to agree with the “fact” that all businesses are hurting because of the economy.
It's very easy to say “There's nothing I can do, it's the economy.”
But as usual, the easy way is not the best way. The easy thing to do would have been to pull back, get smaller, cut jobs and blame it on the economy. No one would have judged me poorly. Some may have even commented on what a shrewd businesswoman I was for making the hard decisions. I disagree with them, and with the “fact” that there is nothing I can do.
The economy is simply a factor to consider when planning your growth strategies – just like all the other factors you have to consider and plan with. This is the time when you have to dig deep. You have to work harder, and you have to find the things you can control, and delineate what you cannot. Once delineated, you can figure out your way around those barriers. You have to get creative. You have to take action on plans that haven't materialized. These things will give you control over the course of your sales, even in the current economy.
You can't say you weren't warned. The year ahead may be a bit dicey, but there is absolutely no reason why you can't still show growth. Start by making a plan for 2009. Plan to do the hard thing, the right thing, and take control. There is no greater reward than succeeding while proving the nay-sayers wrong!
If you haven't noticed, I've been hammering in the fact that you need to plan for the New Year and not let the economy determine whether your company grows or not.
I am not suggesting that you simply put your fingers in your ears and yell “La! La! La!” at the top of your lungs, the whole time pretending there is nothing wrong with the economy. What I am suggesting is that you not let the external force of the economy be your excuse to fail!
So, guess what? You are 100% responsible for the future of your business. Yikes! If you really consider what that means, it really puts YOU in the hot seat.
Don't spend your valuable time whining about the economy! DO something about it.
Quick story about a buddy of mine who is a “Lemon” lawyer… he basically represents folks who wound up buying a lemon of a car. Well, a bad economy means fewer car sales, which means fewer lemons, which in turn means less business for him! What did he do? He hired a couple of attorneys that are experts in creditor harassment suits. He put a marketing campaign in place with TV ads, direct mail – the works! He is so excited about 2009 and is predicting his best year ever!
So, what can you do right now to counteract the media hype of doom and gloom?
1. Get Perspective: Take a few days and get out of your office so that you can take a panoramic, objective view of your business and your industry.
2. Research: During those few days, get your wits wrapped around what is occurring in your industry in terms of your competitors.
3. Set Goals: Where do your numbers need to be? Break down your income needs. Not just what you need yearly or quarterly, but what you need to bring in on average on a daily basis in order to make your targets.
4. Implement: We've all had ideas that have been brushed aside in the fray. Find those ideas and figure out which ones need to be implemented to solidify your sales.
5. Get Advice: Reach out for sources where you can learn and get your questions answered. It's possible that as a business owner you have not been through this before, and reaching out to those who have can be a real help.
In the end, no matter what the economy is doing, it's up to you to plan ahead and make the right choices for success. Start 2009 off right and you won't regret it.