Size doesn’t matter
As president of a chamber of commerce, I have the unique opportunity to take the constant pulse of businesses ranging from small one-man or woman operations to Fortune 500 companies. I hear about their struggles and successes, what changes worked and which ones proved to be an exercise in what NOT to do.
The health of those companies is improving- albeit slowly. The verdict shows that when it comes to thriving in today’s business environment, size doesn’t matter. Successful practices are evident in the smaller David-size operations as well as the larger Goliaths. The common theme is willingness to change.
Here are some lessons of success shared by businesses that have weathered the economic downturn and come out stronger.
- It’s better to move and have to change course than not move at all. It's commonly assumed that smaller businesses can turn on a dime. Theoretically, those companies are able to change operations quickly but many get stuck in the analytics trap. Do your due diligence and make a decision.
- When your strategy isn’t working, change the strategy - don’t throw more money at it. Even though a system or process is working, be open to change that will improve the process.
- Fortunately, humans have an innate urge to improve things and are not satisfied with “leave well-enough alone.”
- Be a lean, mean fighting machine. You don’t have to be a Toyota or the size of Toyota to benefit from implementing lean strategies and a philosophy that eliminates waste, reduces costs, and improves quality.
- When the going gets rough- don’t give up on marketing. When the economy heads south or sales are stale, marketing is often the first casualty. While all departments are fair game when it comes to survival, don’t leave marketing holding the bag. Stalling your marketing efforts takes away any momentum you’ve established. Keep the pipeline fresh so both you and the potential client will be ready when the time is right.