Don’t feel bad if your company has drifted away from its strategic plan. Tough economic times can do that. Recessions invite worried sales people to agree to whatever price they can get any prospect to accept. Uncertainty can lead product development initiatives down several paths only to end up with unfinished projects. Insecurity cues marketing messages to become broad based, safe, generalized and ineffective. Service minded employees trying to accommodate today’s demanding customers quickly leads to scope creep on contracts and reduced profitability.
The operative words are worry, uncertainty, insecurity, and accommodate. That mindset leads to drift, reduced effectiveness, scope creep, and lowered profitability. If you are experiencing this phenomenon, you are normal…and the good news is that it’s curable.
Convene your management team to review updated data about the various subgroups within your customer base. Your company’s “sweet spot” may have inadvertently shifted. Maybe in the past, your company was most effective and generated the best profit from small business accounts. Perhaps now, you should focus on medium sized businesses. Maybe in the past, you could handle five distinct industries; and realistically, you now need to drop one and focus on four. Maybe the range of products/services just needs to be brought back into a smaller range so you can be more efficient, handle the risk, and feel a sense of accomplishment.
These “Let’s Get Re-Centered” sessions need to happen more frequently during tough economic times. What’s going on in the European economy does impact customers in North America. The politics of the Middle East influences decisions in South America and Asia. Technology in Australia matters to companies in Africa.
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 current service businesses (strategic planning, executive advisory, growth financing, talk show, speaking, search) help privately held midsized companies achieve accelerated growth with sustained profitability™. Ambler is wrapping up her 7th year hosting a weekly peer-to-peer-to-peer on line talk show at www.Business.VoiceAmerica.com and www.growthstrategistshow.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 are being emphasized in 2011. Ambler is in the process of launching her 8th enterprise. She can be reached toll free at 1-888-Aldonna or at Aldonna@AMBLER.com.
Known as The Growth Strategist®, Aldonna Ambler built and grew a suite of companies to help midsized B2B companies achieve accelerated growth with sustained profitability® A Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), Ambler has addressed over 2000 audiences and hosted a syndicated online talk show about growth strategies for 9 years. As a growth financing intermediary, Ambler raised over $1 Bil dollars for midsized companies. The winner of over 2 dozen prestigious national and statewide "entrepreneur of the year" awards, Ambler is available to speak about “profitable growth during any economy” and/or serve on the board of a growth-oriented privately-held company.