We learn most from mistakes and tough times, the bruising our memory banks don’t care to repeat. How to gain from bumpy economic times is a business owner’s worthiest cause right now.
In uncertain times we all re-evaluate what, how and where we’re spending. It’s an opportunity to relish not fear. Minds are open to change. It’s a rare and fresh chance to persuade new customers and allies why you, over your competitors.
How do you want your company to look on the sunny side of this rollercoaster?
When employees, suppliers and stakeholders understand your vision that roadmap helps them see their place in your future. The pessimism before us becomes a mere phase to pass through. It’s a touchstone to buy into the big picture on the other side.
If you can’t see it opportunists will. Lead, follow, or get out of the way. You can always admit honourable defeat, save resources and start planning for an enterprise you do believe in. In many sectors selling out now may return a better result than in a year’s time.
That said, change will never be easier to implement than in coming months. We’re conditioned for it, provided strategic planning, authenticity and communication skills shine through. We will all take risks to back winners we believe in, those leaders who can shift our comfort zone by acting outside their own.
Some recession-busting ideals for a start:
1) Show a more human face.
From the first contact point through to your after sales service. You’ll gain more traction from that than mindless technological efficiency.
2) A boss says go. A leader says let’s go.
Pushing staff too hard or blaming the market is for losers, nothing changes. Challenge the status quo. Commit to a new vision. But make sure you connect your followers together for the ride. Inspire them with passion, candour and faith – provided you have belief in your follow through.
3) Think retro.
Something your customers can touch and smile about, that stirs memories of the good old days. Conceptually original, personally addressed, direct mail campaigns are ready for a comeback. Relief from the avalanche of bland and often unread email drops polluting our inboxes. Impact and the old-fashioned personal approach beat cheap-to-deliver.
4) Inverse your thinking.
Flip your views on suppliers, possible joint ventures and alliances. Explore where it takes you, while everyone is searching for solutions. How you can be an indispensable ally and save them money doing business with you, rather than just screwing on price. Have fun, throw a party for them, instead of going to theirs, where most time is spent lying to competitors anyway.
Flawed perception, fear of failure, and the inability to persuade others are said to be the greatest inhibitors to success. With so many unknowns on where the economy is heading, it’s best to downplay the first two for now. Your credibility as a decisive leader is one key to your powers of persuasion.