The consensus from most company leaders and economists is that we have turned the corner and have begun a long-term economic recovery. To maximize the performance of your organization during the recovery you must develop a proactive mindset. I advise my clients that as a company, you must take it to the market versus letting the market take it to you.
Companies that are positioning themselves for success are being proactive in these areas:
- Evaluate, upgrade and develop your talent – We have seen an incredible increase in talent management and development activity over the last year, especially in the sales field. There are a lot of very talented people looking for companies that are proactive and successful despite difficult economic times. Talented individuals want to be part of building something. They want to be part of a company that is moving forward.
- Plan – Every company has limited human and financial resources. It is more important than ever to focus those resources on the strategies and actions that are going to increase the top and bottom line. Clearly define what you want to accomplish working “on” your business this year.
- New Business Development Initiative – Increase new business by launching a proactive sales and marketing plan that is executed by a skill-set aligned sales team. In other words, have “hunters” pursuing new business and “farmers” growing sales with current customers.
- Know your costs – Have your lead financial person facilitate a process to break down every expense on the income statement. Identify costs that can be eliminated or do not add value. Compare your costs and ratios against industry benchmarks.
- Know your customers – Increase retention by spending more time with your top customers. It is critical that you illustrate the tangible value your company delivers to your customers through business reviews. Look for opportunities to upsell additional products or services. The easiest place to get more business is with your current customers.
- Create a culture of accountability and discipline – You will get more done with less if you create a culture where employees are comfortable with healthy conflict and accountability. It is essential to clearly communicate expectations to each employee and then consistently hold them accountable to achieving them. The success of the organization accelerates as more people across the organization are working “on” the business and completing their action plans.
When you go back to work this week I would encourage you to be proactive in these areas in your company. Assume 100% control of your own destiny. Create a mindset that “YOU Are Your Own Economy.” Focusing on these fundamentals will create revenue and profit opportunities for your organization during the recovery. Remember, Those Who Plan – PROFIT!
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