Mirror, mirror on the wall . . .

. . . who’s the readiest of them all?

Often at this mid-way point on the calendar, business advisors encourage their clients to pull out the budget and the business plan to assess the first half of the year and gauge what needs to happen in order to meet year-end goals.

This year, with some economists and assorted other “officials” hinting that the economy may be improving, the question is different and, frankly, more critical. Rather than ask yourself whether your company is in a position to hit year-end goals, ask yourself this:

Is my company positioned to take advantage of the economic recovery?

The two questions are very different. If you are content simply to achieve the goals you set at the beginning of the year, you may be in trouble.

Why?

Well, if your goal for the year was to lay low and ride out the downturn, you may have disappeared from your customers’—and prospects’—radar screens. Or, if you decided that “no one will buy in a down economy” and focused on slashing expenses rather than increasing sales, you may have inadvertently compromised critical services, or an opportunity to invest in internal processes that improve efficiency.

If that’s the case, you’re basically in start up mode as the economy starts to rumble back to life. You’ve got to start flipping switches and get your company’s engine revved back up.

The companies that are in the best position to benefit aren’t just ready to hit the ground running—they never left the race track. Yes, they may have reduced costs in some areas, but they committed to improving processes, increasing efficiencies, developing new products and examining opportunities to target new markets.

Put your company in front of a mirror. Step back and examine what you see. Be honest. Have you ever caught a glimpse of yourself in the mirror and done a double take because the reflection didn’t match your image of yourself? We’ve all been there. Do the same thing with your company. What is that look in the mirror REALLY telling you?

Is your company really the “readiest”? If it’s not, get to work. You can still avoid being the fairy tale with the unhappy ending.

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About Smart Companies Thinking Bigger®

Kelly Scanlon is the owner and publisher of Thinking Bigger Business Media. She recently finished a term on the national board of directors of the National Association of Women Business Owners, and was the national chair from 2010-2011. An advocate for small business owners, Kelly sits on numerous boards and committees to advocate on behalf of small business owners. She has won several awards for her advocacy. Among them are the 2011 United Nations NGO Positive Peace Award on behalf of Kansas City area small business owners, the U.S. Small Business Administration's Region VII Women's Business Champion of the Year in 2009, and the Women in Business Advocate of the Year from the State of Kansas in 2006. In 2002, she won the SBA's Region VII Small Business Journalist of the Year Award (Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas). Whatever your business stage—aspiring, startup, established, mature—Thinking Bigger Business Media has the resources you need to grow to the next level. We are a resource organization dedicated to providing the strategic, "how-to" information small business owners need to become more productive and more profitable. We also provide information that helps owners connect with resources within the business community that can help them grow. We deliver that information through a variety of media products and other channels easily accessible to business owners.
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