SCVBJ Contributing Writer
Most anyone can run a company during good times. When you are making money, it’s easy to overlook some of the deeper issues lying beneath the surface just waiting for an excuse to move to the top of your company’s list of challenges and create havoc. Paying attention, during good times and bad times, to these ten proven concepts will help your company weather today’s storm and make sure the next one won’t hit you so hard.
- Reach out to every single client and ask them what you can do for them. Find out what their biggest challenges are and innovate ways to help them address those challenges.
- Identify three critical financial indicators that you can start sharing with all your employees. You need your employees to understand how their job impacts your bottom line. Educating them will keep them engaged.
- Identify what is keeping your company from being as flexible as it once was. You have to be able to respond to client needs quickly and efficiently. If that isn’t happening, fix it.
- Look around and find two strategic partners that share your client base. Be aggressive and spend time outlining the advantages to working with these alliance partners so that results will appear quickly.
- Seek out and find hidden pockets where profit is hiding. Look at your entire business. Where are those new eyes? Tap into the intelligence residing in every single employee and ask them to share what they see.
- Look inward. Examine your own leadership skills. Now isn’t the time to gloss over your weaknesses. Now is the time to reach deep inside and ask what other skills you can learn that will help your company prosper.
- Reassess your team. Not every person is a fit. Release the ones that need to move on and open the door to find new talent, new perspective, new ideas and new energy.
- What don’t you know about your company that you should? Are you totally aware of how your company spends money? If not, get educated. Are you aware of what your clients think about your products or services? You better be asking.
- What is your communication plan? You better believe that there are vast information voids in your company and your employees are filling up those information voids with negative inputs. Begin communicating your vision, your plan and be both aggressive and candid about telling your employees what they need to know.
- Look outward. Who can help you get a better understanding of how to manage your challenges? Strategic Advisory Boards can help; I bring CEOs of privately owned companies together in formal peer groups to create unique external scaffolding that supports the tough, sometimes uncomfortable internal work a CEO needs to do to move the company in the right direction. With support from your CEO peers on tasks like goal setting, business planning and execution, using the copyrighted Strategic Growth Navigator planning tool and an uncompromising focus on accountability, you’ll be able to confidently and consistently get your business back on track to sustainable growth.
What have you got to lose?
Ken Keller is an executive coach who works with small and midsize B2B company owners, CEOs and entrepreneurs. He facilitates formal top executive peer groups for business expansion, including revenue growth, improved internal efficiencies and greater profitability. Email: [email protected]. Keller’s column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of the SCVBJ.