Quite often a funny thing happens on your way to celebrating ten years of successful growth and profitability. WHAAAAT? Were you blindsided or did you actually take your eye off the ball? Heaven’s, did your customer’s appetite for your products or service levels just begin to not love you as much? How could that be- you’ve have been doing this for ten years with the internal assumption that we are just getting better at it.
While getting hammered by an unpredicted volatile economic downturn can be a significant kick in the belly ( & liquidity), it should be a reminder that a presumption of uninterrupted growth is foolhardy at best. What happened in 2008 was surely unexpected for the most part, those that maneuvered through it as well as companies that weakened through not paying attention have surely learned some valuable lessons for survival and growth- a PHD in survival so to speak. What businesses should have recognized, was there is a new normal which is being driven by technologies that accelerate both needs and responses at an unprecedented pace. A business is a personality and no business stays the same forever as market conditions, customer needs and innovative technologies are demanding. Time to really access the businesses ability to grow is a head of storm is found in a fictional book. Having said that- there are actions of change that may be very impactful to your future bottom line when you recognize it is time to Spark & Shift.
If you and your team are paying attention you will see the signs that it is time for a change of direction in some elements of your business, as difficult as that may be.
Growth is slowing notably
While market conditions and seasonal impact on business revenue cycles are the norm, are you finding the cycles consistently trending off the mark. Reacting too slowly to this trend by not “owning it” will result in a more challenging course correction. Very few business owners can not admit to this, myself included, as we sometimes relaxed in “the pause” and truly believe that all will bounce back. After all we are somewhat addicted to cylces. The options in business and the fast growing technologies that exasperate our need to compete for customers or perhaps more importantly retain the existing customer ( way less expensive than attracting new), require that WE PAY ATTENTION by listening to customers and rapidly responding to their needs through unique and quality offerings.
Fundamentals to Change
While investing in innovative ways to move your business forward ahead of the markets and clients anticipated needs, you still need to focus on tightening up the team commitment to efficiencies through buy- in. It doesn’t work if you have the innovative dreamer alone cooking up new innovations if the rest of the team is not involved in the pursuit of eliminating waste through innovative methods. Improving operational efficiencies while increasing employee engagement and productivity helps deliver the end product that your client demands- no matter the size of the business.
So take a self -imposed test. Is this just a bump in the road or does your business need a new directional Spark & Shift?