Your business is hurting and your inbox fills up with advice on leadership from other businesses seeking your patronage. You’ve heard every buzz word and catch phrase at least a dozen times; F*R*E*E* – One-Day-Only – Money-Back-Guarantee – Double your profits in half the time – Work Smarter not Harder – la-di-da; it all sounds so hollow, so tediously more-of-the-same and uninspiring – hype and more hype with a different flavor!
How do you know which one is worthy of your time, money and efforts? As a matter of fact, you don’t, which makes you even more skeptical of everything and anybody. As a result, you keep muddling through, choosing to make the same mistakes over-and-over again, only to obtain the same unintended and unwanted results that everyone else is complaining about: Top-Line results; Bottom-Line results and retention of key-employees. But, there’s some comfort in knowing that everyone else is in the same predicament; in the clutches of “The Bad Economy”.
Q: “Who or What is the Economy?” Who are the players and how do they play their game?
A: WE are the economy and WE care more about making money -efficiency and cutting cost- than satisfying client needs.
Q: Where should that money we want to make come from?
A: Right, from those clients!
Q: What do those clients look for?
A: Duh … What’s In It For Me!!!
Q: What happens when everyone does what everyone else is doing – efficiency, cut cost, standardize, automate, fire people, outsource?
A: Competing product and service offerings converge; they all look the same with no distinguishing properties other than price.
Q: How do you compete if price is your only redeeming quality?
A: Lower your price even further; standardize more, hire the same consultants that your competitors are using and invest in the same technology from the same Original Equipment Manufacturers in order to obtain the same results as everyone else so that you’re back at square one -offering the same product or service at the same price but this time with a lower profit margin and a much higher debt.
Q: What’s your next strategic move going to be?
A: How about a Merger & Acquisition transaction to benefit from even more economies of scale. Once you’re big enough and people still need your products and services they have no other choice than you and they’ll have to pay whatever you charge them! By-the-way, the success rate of M&A transactions is less than 30%. Is that what you really want??? Is that the vision you have for your business?
Beating the Bad Economy is about changing our behavior; defining a compelling vision that’s bigger than us and benefits OTHERS -their W.I.I.F.M.
Beating the Bad Economy is about creating a business system for the pursuit of that vision rather than just making money come hell or high water; people don’t buy that and you know that from experience!
Beating the Bad Economy is about creating products and services that solve real people’s needs. And, because you don’t want to standardize -offering one-size fits all solutions, aimed at trying to solve everyone’s needs- you must select your target audience very carefully and cater specifically to their needs. You want to become their “Obvious Choice”! When you offer real value, they’ll pay a fair profit margin to keep you in business!
Beating the Bad Economy is to avoid a War-of-Attrition at all cost, because the biggest losers are your clients who have less choice, both in products/services and in suppliers; they have fewer reasons to get excited and open their wallets.
Long-Live Making a Difference towards Creating a Good Economy!!!