Crossing Your Street Of Success
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Seven Steps To An Attitude Transplant - By Dave Ferguson
There is no doubt that these past few years have been tough on many people, both professionally and personally. I speak and listen to many people daily and many remind me of the young boy that goes to cross the street, looks both ways, see’s its clear, but can’t decide if it’s safe to cross the street. Then, by the time he decides to cross the street, it isn’t clear anymore. He missed his opening.
Regardless of what we read about in periodicals or hear on TV, none of us really know where our economy is going. While I have studied economics and on occasion have made some sound economic predictions, I am not an economist. Therefore, I cannot, nor am I going to, predict when we will see an upturn. I will, however, go way out on a limb and predict we will see some form of an upturn soon, followed by what could be many years of peaks and valleys.
The overall nervousness about the economy is real, I agree. But we as business owners and/or managers are paid to take some risk. I’m thinking there are openings right now! Let’s talk about how to take advantage of them:
1. If you don’t have a real strategy…get one. A true strategic plan is all about tactics, techniques, and implementation. If you’re going to beat the competition out of the gate and down the stretch you need a strong strategy. If you have a business plan, dust it off and update it. If you don’t have one, find someone (like me) that can help you develop a real working business plan. If you aren’t planning, you’re planning to fail!
2. Get creative: There is no time, like the present, to be creative. Innovation is one of two things that make money for companies. Before you leap, spend time brainstorming with your employees, other professionals, friends, and a good business coach (I’ve created Synergy Circles to do just that). Get everyone’s juices stirring around products, services, and processes.
3. Get your relationship house in order: Start spending time with your customers, even with the ones that aren’t currently buying from you. Let them know you value their businesses, as well as their business. Then ask them how you can improve.
4. Find out your strengths and weaknesses as an organization and then work on them. If you don’t know them, ask your customers or hire someone to assist you in the evaluation.
5. Get your financial house in order: You’ve got to create a firm foundation for growth if you want to participate in the next upturn. While I’m not a big fan of debt, have all the necessary documentation ready for the bank if you might need to borrow at the onset. When the lending departments reopen, there could be a race for the funds and you’ll want to win that race! Try the community banks first!
6. Invest in your business and your team. Invest in your productive employees and manage the unproductive ones up or out. When the upturn comes, so will the war for talent. If you’ve got good talent and want to keep them, invest in them now. Help them prepare themselves to be the best they can be. Provide them more training as well as, developmental opportunities. Investing in your people now will demonstrate a commitment from you that will factor big time if and when the competition attempts to steal them away. Consider sales training or just a motivational tune-up for them. Call me, I can help.
7. If you don’t have the right people on your team, get them: Evaluate your team and if you have doubts about anyone, consider replacing them. There are a lot of free agents on the market and you can use this time and their talent to upgrade your team. I highly recommend you bring in an objective third party to help with this process, especially around interviewing and selection.
8. Be a leader. As a leader you must be positive about your organization. Spread that throughout your organization, as well as to your vendors and customers. Don’t let your employees dwell on the negative; rather help them see the positive. Find ways to energize and lift them. Spread cheer and get them pumped. Consider bringing in an inspirational speaker. If none of that works, remember this, “You’re not in business to make them happy, you’re in business to make a profit!”
Making it through an economic downturn is not easy, but who said business ownership was easy? I’ve attempted today to give you a small amount of advice, based on my experience in and with other businesses. Take some time today and think about what could be on the other side of the street for you. If you look long enough, I believe you just may see the business goals and objectives you strive for. Don’t miss your opening. If I can assist you, please call me.
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Seven Steps To An Attitude Transplant - By Dave Ferguson
About the Author: Dave Ferguson
RSS for Dave's articles - Visit Dave's website
Dave Ferguson, has over 20 years of corporate experience at the senior level. He has held positions of Senior Vice President and National Sales Manager at companies such as Wells Fargo, HSBC and other financial institutions. Dave's broad range of experience at these prestigious companies where he coached, mentored, trained and developed leaders makes him uniquely qualified to coach you and those in your organization. Dave's clients value his diverse and solid background as they put their trust in him to guide them and their companies through whatever challenge or situation develops. Dave's coaching process provides personal and business management strategies - a balanced solution to help his clients work less, earn more and enjoy richer lives. Dave additionally is a sought after public speaker and also has developed several workshops and bootcamps designed to help people improve. He is also a certified member of the John Maxwell Team, and is proud to be able to offer the internationally recognized leadership expert's programs to his clients.
He can be reached at Dave@AskCoachDave.com.
Click here to visit Dave's website.
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