Sunday, October 26, 2008

It Will All Get Better When The Election Is Over

“It will all get better when the election is over.” I have heard this stated in many different ways over the past month, and while I agree that I will hear less Approved Messages by someone that has just…or is about to…sling some mud, the fundamentals of what will make businesses stronger will not change.

I can assure you that on November 5th, your business is not going to magically improve by 10%. What will help businesses continue profitability in this evolving economic climate are sound fundamentals. Don’t wait for the election, now is the time to take a few minutes AWAY from your business to work ON your business. Take a long hard look at the following:

YOUR STAFF: In my opinion, this is the single most important aspect of your business that will help you achieve continued rising profits or a painful spiral into bankruptcy. Do you have the right people on the bus? Is your staff committed to working a bit harder, being a bit more creative, changing the way they approach their jobs? If their work becomes a bit harder or they need to assume additional responsibilities, are they going to be surfing the web for their next home? If you have any concerns about your team, now is the time to retrain, reassign duties or replace. Now is not the time to keep dead weight, they will only bring down your other committed employees and be a wasted labor expense.

YOUR MARKETING PLAN: Are you effectively getting the word out about your exclusive competitive advantage? Do you have a marketing plan? For fun, Google “Advertising In A Down Economy” and read a few of the articles. Now is more important than ever to have a strong marketing plan. Don’t spread your limited marketing budget too thin by trying to be everywhere. Pick one media and dominate that. If you can’t afford to dominate one media, pick one particular radio station / TV station / publication and dominate that. If you can’t afford to do that, then pick one aspect of the advertising entity’s audience and dominate that. In this business climate, a good marketing consultant is worth their weight in gold – find one and listen.

YOUR P&L STATEMENT: When is the last time you really reviewed this? Are there line items that are out of whack? If there are, research, understand and then fix them. Now isn’t necessarily the time to be thinking you need to cut expenses everywhere, just make sure everything is right sized.

YOUR CUSTOMER SERVICE: If it is not at the highest level, fix it fast or be prepared to watch your revenue decline quickly!

YOUR COMMITMENT LEVEL: Are you in this for the long haul? Do you still love what you do? If not, maybe now is the time to reevaluate. Maybe it is time to delegate more to those who do have the passion, or to sell completely. If you are committed then have fun with the challenge and celebrate every little win, no matter how small.

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