Stop – Breathe – Plan
Financial Earnings have been reported lower for 8 quarters in a row for the S&P 500(source). Many economists are weary of another recession even though there are some positive signs. But at the very least Janet Yellens recent announcement of a “mixed picture” ahead speaks to a challenging 2016 and most Financial Advisors are warning of a volatile year. Large companies are having to do more with less to maintain their budgeted profit lines and meet earnings projections.
Because of this, Big Business has….
- less overall revenue
- less people to do the work
- less quality
- less R&D
- less room for error
- less money to reinvest in smaller businesses
Wall street has had to make changes because they need to keep investors satisfied,..
..but Main Street USA needs to do this to stay open!
It is one thing to look at efficiency to help shave money off production or operating costs, but making adjustments due to drastic loss of Top line revenue or disintegrating Market channels is a different problem that will effect the future of your business.
There is no difference between what the larger companies are experiencing verses small businesses or Non Profits. It is simply a matter of scale, everybody has to do more with less while maintaining stakeholders. Everybody is concerned how these changes will be noticed by their customer base or how it will effect loyalty and future revenues.
But in order to keep things moving, something has to change!
This is not a preferred business strategy, it is a reaction to the economic situation most industries are experiencing. Large companies arguably have more “fat” to trim when necessary but small companies like “mom and pops” or even Non profits run lean as possible anyways.
To compete with this environment companies are continually searching for ways to maintain quality, customer counts and funding.
Here are 5 Key Differentiators in a business handling this well.
- Proactive Strategic Planning. Too often smaller companies view this as “Crisis” management that happens after the fact rather than as a precautionary planning tool.
- Getting a “fresh eyes” mindset to business operations, utilizing efficiency experts, workforce development, and sometimes even a “blow it up” mentality. If you can’t afford outside help, then utilize analysis tools like a SWOT or PEST to help with direction.
- Courageous Leadership. Do the decision makers have the courage to take calculated risks with business operations or market shifts. This is scary stuff, but once there is enough data, you need to make a decision. Make sure you have the right data or input from a reputable source.
- Understanding CHANGE Management. Once you have started something, a change will come, but is it the one you want? Knowing how to control Change and calculate outcomes takes a proven formula and a savvy leader. Contact me for segments of my white paper entitled “5 Pillars of Change Management” it will define the key components needed to control Change in your organization.
- Having Business Intelligence about your customers/doners/followers. Savvy companies know who is buying their products and what it takes to get them to buy. Knowing the Attitudes & Motivators is key business intelligence that makes for a much more targeted decision about your audience. Too often a business focuses on who they want to buy rather than who IS buying their product(s).
Avoid being in a position to make decisions that will hurt your business, its customers and your employees because of lower earnings. If you feel you need help, call an expert. You have worked too hard to have to cut what is important.
Stop – Breathe – Plan – Call