The worldwide recession that began in 2007 ended forever the days when businesses could prosper despite offering little than middle-of-the-pack products and services. While nobody likes a recession, it’s also true that economic hard times create opportunities for companies that are dedicated to rising above the crowd. Organizations that differentiate themselves from their competition thrive regardless of the economy, while those who remain content with the status quo struggle to survive. The fact is that your customer’s buying criteria have evolved to the point where average just isn’t good enough anymore and never will be again. Indeed, you’ve probably noticed that shift in your own purchasing decisions. During the latest business downturn, the most successful entrepreneurs and business leaders understood they needed a new approach. They survived the recession by realizing there had to be a better way–a more effective way– to outplan and outperform the competition. That’s what I will share with you.
By this point, you may have concluded that your business is in the same position that most companies find themselves in: You’re stuck in the flat, leveling, or even declining sales pattern. It’s also possible that, like many of the companies I work with, you find yourself working harder, even expanding your client or customer base, and still not making any money. You lack balance in your life because you are putting in so many hours — but for what? Or it may be that you’ve realized there are roadblocks to progress within your company– sacred cows– that are limiting your ability to grow and prosper.
Fewer than 10% of all business develop and execute departmental (tactical) plans. This is even harder to understand once you realize that these plans are where strategy blossoms into action. Does your experience follow these trends? Let me ask you a few questions:
- Do you develop and execute an annual business plan?
- Can you clearly define how your organization differentiates itself from its competition? Is it a real differentiation?
- Do you develop departmental plans to work on the business, such as operations, sales, marketing, human resources, or manufacturing plans?
Now, by using the common-sense principles and guidance of the Stop Selling Vanilla Ice Cream book, you can help your organization move to the head of the class: you can be among those few visionary leaders who not only know where they want to go but have a solid, workable plan for getting there and putting the team in place to make it happen.
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