For the better part of three years I have heard from hundreds of people running organizations today that this sluggish economy is driving them up a wall. OK, so we all agree – things are not what they used to be or the way we would like them to be.
The question is – what are you doing about it? Stuck in the past and negative mindsets? Whining every day? Unwilling to re-invent your business model? Hoarding your cash? Circling the wagons? I could go on, but the only positive answer to all of these is to simply – embrace change and move on – whether you are comfortable with it or not.
I have developed a new all day program for you and your employees to help you end these negative patterns, behaviors and attitudes and finally move on with – dignity, success and increased business and profits. But the question is – are you willing to do something new and different and let go of paradigms that keep your organization stuck in a victim mindset to economic circumstances you can't control?
OK, here are the Five Keys to Turning Your Business Around in a Sluggish Economy
The single best resource that drives your organization's success are your employees. If they are driven by fear, uncertainty and stress I will guarantee that it will take months or years to turn your business around and you will remain a victim of a sluggish economy. If they are driven by creativity, innovation, a positive culture and an empowering motivational climate – watch out – anything is possible and you will be amazed at the results that can be achieved. Focusing on the negatives, what isn't working and micro-managing every employee action and decision will sabotage employee motivation and a willingness to take risks and change things for the better. If you are not investing in your employees development – you are losing all of the benefits of a workforce that will help you emerge from these challenging times with confidence, enthusiasm and real positive and consistent results.
Your customers are the source of all of the revenue that enables your growth, stability, progress and success. Treating customers as only a source of revenue is a recipe for disaster sooner or later. Employees under a great deal of stress will tend to lack customer understanding, compassion and a willingness to help them solve problems, but rather try and just get more business from them. Customer loyalty is earned and not purchased and it is vital for long term success and stability. If you treat customers only as a financial entity and do not focus on the quality of the relationship with appropriate communication, validation and respect you will lose their business. Your competition, even if they can not satisfy your customer's needs in an effective or positive way, will take this business away from you. If you are not cultivating your customers in a positive and consistent way you are losing business both from present and future customers.
Advertising and marketing –
"If you build it and they will come!" Sorry, not true. A cute line, but in today's world, driven by technology, this attitude will fail to yield consistent positive results. Having sold a variety of types of advertising during my early career; magazines, newspaper, trade shows, billboards and transit – I can tell you that if people don't know who you are and how you can help them grow their business or solve their problems – you will never get their business. Yes, word of mouth advertising is a great tool – but can you afford to wait for this method to take hold? I will tell you – in a sluggish economy if this is your approach – you will soon be a forgotten statistic. When the economy sinks smart people improve their advertising and marketing exposure. The rest of the business world has this archaic attitude – we can't afford it now. We will advertise and market again when things pick up or improve. Sorry – with that attitude – business will never improve for you. The second best investment you can make during sluggish times to improve business is to increase exposure and that can only be done by reaching out to your markets and its potential with creative advertising and marketing strategies and approaches.
Management mindsets –
There are only two basic mindsets when it comes to dealing with uncertainty and the future's unknowns – you can fear and deny them or you can embrace and take charge of them. Everything in an organization – its culture, prevailing attitudes, employee behaviors, decisions and overall performance is directly or indirectly related to management style, management philosophy and management mindsets. If management (ownership) has the belief that things are tough and uncertain – what do you think is filling the minds of your employees every minute of every day? If you think management mindsets do not have a 100% impact on everything that happens or doesn't happen in your organization you are living in la-la land. How's that working for you? If you want to change things bottom-up you have to change things top-down. Like it or not – you are responsible for whatever is going on in your organization – good or bad – positive or negative.
A re-invent mentality –
It's time to let go of what is no longer working – no matter how long you have done it or how entrenched it is in your organization's history or philosophy. Re-invent simply means to – let go, re-charge, re-ignite, re-vitalize and take the lessons from the past, but not the processes or approaches into the future. Re-invent is simply a – "throw-away-the-box mentality" and not just a – "think-out-of-the-box" one. It means holding on to what you believe in, but now how you deal with it. It requires surrender to the new-normal and how that is influencing your overall business approaches and their ultimate success.
This program digs deep into each of these areas and will guide your employees and members of your management team in a positive direct so you will very soon look back on these negative times – and smile. Let me add however – if you are not suffering in any way due to these sluggish economic times – imagine what your business could look like if your organization embraced these five approaches as a permanent part of your business philosophy!
If you are interested in conducting this program for your organization – contact me. If you are not – then what are you going to do to successfully emerge from this uncertain future?
Make it a tremendous year,
In His service,