The nagging question on everyone's mind today is how to do more with less.
Slashed budgets and sagging profits have every manufacturer, distributor and solution provider trying to find the perfect formula for remaining competitive (and . . . gasp! . . . even innovative), positioning for the future and keeping costs down.
My advice: Think longer and harder about the decisions you make in the tough times than in the good ones. It could mean the difference between success and failure when the market turns around.
This is not a time for knee-jerk reactions or rationalizations. And it is not a time when the numbers tell the whole story.
Instead, it is a time when one small move can foster loyalty in an organization and one mandate can generate good will among your partners and customers.
Little things make a difference, and perception is reality.
Are your short-term gains ultimately positioning you for the future? Have you made decisions that could leave you vulnerable?
Have you been fair with employees you've had to lay off, especially those you may want to re-hire in the future? Let's face it: Many good, hard-working people are without jobs right now. Would these people be willing to come back to your company when the economy recovers?
What is your reputation in the market? Will you be the company that desirable job candidates seek out in better times?
If you are a vendor, how are you working with the channel? Sales are down, and your direct-sales reps are competing with solution providers. Are you enforcing the rules of engagement? Are you turning a blind eye to channel conflict?
Think hard and be honest. Are your partners loyal right now because there are no other options? Will you be deserted when something better comes along?
These are hard questions in a difficult economy. But if you want to be successful in the long-term, you need to be painfully aware that your immediate decisions will have repercussions in the future.
In tough times, your true colors show.
Who will be vulnerable when the market turns? I can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.