Cash was always “KING,” but now it is “QUEEN”, “PRINCE” and “DUKE” for a heck of a lot of companies. Instead of business leaders looking to optimize opportunity, partner with new players, and aspire to new approaches, most seem to be seeking survival, reducing risk, and controlling change. You are not alone if your recent business decisions have felt like accepting the “lesser of two evils” or being stuck working with “the devil you know.”
But it’s not OK.
This extended recession has done some significant damage.
I am becoming particularly concerned about family owned businesses as they huddle around one another and act like it is “us against the world.” The old premises are resurfacing. You know the ones I am talking about…no one outside the family can be trusted and only immediate family members would care enough.
You have a lazy brother who refuses to learn to use new technologies or an emotional sister who wants to give extra discounts to her friends or a cousin who assumes you will establish a new location in Colorado so he can go skiing more. Just because they are relatives, are these people all automatically better than considering strategic alliances with an up and coming firm or bringing in a CFO who actually understands growth financing or considering a new channel of distribution (because you know the way you currently do things hasn’t been working for YEARS!)?
Maybe your family has passive aggressive behavior, long term indecision, difficulty holding one another accountable, confusing compensation formulas, or conflicts over succession. If so, selecting business strategies that emphasize maintaining the status quo will compound those problems…not solve them. Please, do a gut check. Are you becoming more introspective, less open to negotiations, less willing to hear new proposals, and less willing to meet new people?
This is scary stuff! It sounds trite, but we have to regain our entrepreneurial spirit, quest for quality, and love of learning! We just can’t let the lousy economy set us all back dozens of years!
Aldonna R. Ambler, CMC, CSP has earned the right to be called THE GROWTH STRATEGIST™. She has won over 2 dozen national and statewide “entrepreneur of the year” awards for the resilient growth of her international businesses across 4 recessions. Her midsized BtoB service, technology, and distribution clients get on…and then stay on…the published lists of the fastest growing privately held companies. All of her own service businesses (strategic planning, executive advisory, growth financing, radio show, speaking, search) help privately held midsized companies achieve accelerated growth with sustained profitability.™ Ambler is in her 7th year hosting a weekly peer-to-peer-to-peer on line radio program at www.Business.VoiceAmerica.com and www.growthstrategistradioshow.com that features interviews with CEOs/Presidents of midsized companies (typically between $20 and 200 Mil/yr) sharing success tips about the growth strategy-of-the-week. Family owned businesses will be emphasized in 2011. Ambler can be reached toll free at 1-888-Aldonna or at Aldonna@AMBLER.com