Thursday, October 13, 2011

Vision and planning - ¿Are you adapting to the changes?

Are you adapting to the changes?
A few days ago I was chatting with a small business owner in the town I live, about things, the world, people, about business and, as it’s normal for the time being, we ended up talking about the economic crisis. But not the crisis per se but the fact that everybody talks about it. Funny, it’s not it?

Trying to move away from the subject and turn it into a positive conversation (I always try to look at things from a positive side) and noticing he was talking about how slow business was, how people were buying very little from him, the need for a change, I started recommending a few things he could do, contacting his clients by email with special offers, doing some in store promotions, offering discounts in slow selling products, bottom line, a started offering him options.

To my surprise, from that moment on, reasons on why there is nothing that can be done started pouring at me, that the business across the street was being given more facilities than his, that our town is very little and needs to have double the population it now has, that people don’t have money to spend, that we have to wait for the crisis to be over. In one word: excuses!

But one phrase totally caught my attention: “We have to wait for the crisis to be over.”

Needless to say we all know the world’s economy is going through a very difficult time, that there are thousands of jobless people, that our surrounding is not particularly promising, at least in the short term and many other things. We all know about that and if you don’t, just turn on the TV and you will get to know right away. But still, “we have to wait for the crisis to be over”.

And it’s here where I want to make a stop with you: “We have to way for the crisis to be over”. I couldn’t get rid of that phrase. Let’s say, for instance, we are told that, for sure, 100% guaranteed the crisis will be over on March 15, 2012. What should we do? Well, apparently the obvious thing to do would be to wait until that day comes for us to start doing things. In other words, it would be starting from that day on that we can start planning things to do, our future marketing actions, strategies, the changes that would need to be made in order to move forward, everything… but starting that day, neither sooner or later.

But what do we do until that day comes? Well, wait and hold. Close your eyes and, in your mind, watch “the rain run on the roof”. The strongest will make it and the weakest, well, won’t.

But if we take a different approach to it, and know the crisis will be over on March 15, 2012, wouldn’t these days be the best to start planning things? Gathering information about things that we will be able to do then? To recharge our batteries, knowing the crisis is finally going to be over on a magic snap, and cheer up? Wouldn’t it be the logical thing to do?

But, have you asked yourself what would you do if the crisis is over, let’s say, tomorrow? Or next week? What if it ends ten years from now? What if it ended one week ago and you didn’t notice? What would you do then?

In my heart, I believe that we all have to finally adapt to the surroundings in which we’re living, recognize the situation is what it is, and that’s that. Whether the crisis is over or not, is not in your hands, neither on mine.

As a business owner and an individual, you’ve got to convince yourself that the only thing in your hands to do to make “the crisis be over”, is to move forward, put all your energy every single day into finding more opportunities for your business, be creative, proactive, and not to let yourself be appalled by the negativism that shows up in thousands of excuses to make you stay arms crossed and do nothing.

You’ve got to keep your eyes wide open, maintain your short and long term business vision, plan and execute the things you can do right now, and in the next few days, and plan for those you will be able to do later on when things get better. The show must go on, and so must you.

Even on these hard economic times, there’re businesses growing, moving on, step by step. Is yours one of those? Or is it one of those that are being appalled by the crisis and negativism that has come with it? What are you going to do if finally find out the crisis was over last week but you weren’t told?

Related post: Did you put all you eggs in only one nest?

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