BACK TO THE BUSINESS EGG
There was a time once when your goals and actions were relatively simple and focused like a powerful laser beam. Perhaps it was the six months before you opened up and the first six months after opening — your very first 12-month fiscal period that represents your “egg.” This is the time I’d like you to remember because in those 12 months you enjoyed clarity of thought and purpose at its most pure. It’s a difficult state to duplicate . . . but not impossible.
Many shy away from reliving those days because they might represent anxious times when you still weren’t sure your business was going to be one of the roughly 35 percent that would still be open after five years. It was also a time when you learned some unpleasant life and business lessons. You learned that a compelling product or service offering was not enough to make customers beat a path to your door. You also discovered that hard work, while absolutely necessary, was not necessarily enough to create success. Knowing all that you now know, you should find far greater confidence in your understanding and decision-making if you commit to reacquiring the mindset and the energy of your younger organizational days. In tough times like these, streamlining can produce wonderful results. As a side benefit, a more simplified approach will make you feel better in a variety of ways (including producing a sense of doing something proactive and positive) even if your attempt doesn’t create the business success you’re seeking.
YOU ARE THE COMMANDER IN CHIEF OF YOUR ECONOMY!
Before moving on to the Surface Fabrication Web site where you can revisit “the business egg,” and more effectively streamline your efforts and simplify your mission, please take a moment to reacquaint yourself with a fluid and empowering definition of your economy. As discussed in previous columns, you cannot allow yourself to succumb to the pressure of economic projections.
Try to avoid the trap of Pundit’s Prison. The Sunday morning experts offer up many projections about the economy. In recent times the vast majority of them have been deeply discouraging. It is vital you know the difference between “the economy” and “your economy” as they are not one in the same. No one can see your economy as clearly as you and your local competitors. As you know, economies mirror living biological ecosystems in many ways . . . they are dynamic. They are alive.
Think of the economy as an immensely evolving stage filled with millions of actors reading from millions of ever-changing scripts in a million different dialects. They bump, push and pull at each other. It is an excruciatingly complex demonstration of “chaotic, selfish influence” attempting to create productive growth, but it is really only a side effect of individual gain. We have promoted the idea that every region, city and company interacts with a unique and dynamic economy and not some static blanket economy — placed godlike over the entire nation by economists and Sunday morning talking heads.
There are key elements and critical measurements learned pundits can tabulate which will predict generalized weather patterns in the coming months; however, they cannot predict or measure your potential reaction to these predicted changes in the weather. No one can accurately assess the unique set of opportunities before you or your market strengths or even your personal level of desire. Your economy is the result of millions and millions of individual choices and evolving organizational policies made by the people and companies in your geographic marketing area. To become depressed by an economist’s projections requires you to install too much faith and detail into their broad economic models. As a comparison, it would be like learning The Old Farmer’s Almanac is predicting a wetter than normal spring and feeling glum because you extrapolated that sweeping statement into a declaration that it is going to rain all day long on your birthday in April. Instead, create your own projections based on your own market intelligence. Have the year you were meant to have and not the year some remote entity predicted you would have. You owe that to yourself, your family, your employees, your future and your brand.
SF Web Exclusive Alert
Go online and visit www.surfacefabrication.com/webexclusive to find Chris Traynor’s list of streamlining techniques to incorporate into a winning business simplification initiative.
About the author: Chris Traynor, Surface Fabrication magazine’s senior business columnist, is the director and knowledge scout for Whip-Smart Management Consulting LLC., Wayne, N.J. (www.whip-smart.com), as well as a board-certified senior professional in human resources (SPHR). Traynor has 25 years of experience in the solid surface industry as a consultant to fabricators, distributors, manufacturers and associated firms. He can be reached at email@example.com.