Every day the media continues to spew the doom and gloom on the state of the slowing global economy. Sadly the reaction by some entrepreneurs and companies is to lay low; to avoid investing in marketing or in training their staff; to do nothing about improving their business. They are paralyzed by fear and therefore take no action at all. In essence they are acting like ostriches hiding their heads in the sand, waiting out the proverbial storm to pass. And who knows when that will be.
Back in 2005 I owned a children’s wholesale apparel business. As we entered the second year of operation, times were tough and we struggled to find quality sales representatives and to sell our product. At the same time, I had a friend who was also a business owner who was experiencing challenges within her business. She and I would commiserate over email about how bad things were and how we hoped that we could find that magic bullet that would turn things around and we hoped that we would both have more customers, yadda, yadda, yadda. You get the idea.
One day I was watching an Oprah show where she was interviewing CNN Correspondent Anderson Cooper. In the interview Anderson was commenting on the expectations of the New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin and how he was hoping that the Governor was going to help out more and hoping that the US President was going to do more. Then Anderson added that this was all well and good, but HOPE is not a plan of action.
Hearing him say those words, it was like someone had just hit me with a ‘reality check’ brick in the head. I realized that all the banter between my friend and I about how we were hoping that our businesses would improve was actually getting us nowhere. We were hoping and putting out head in the sand waiting for the storm to pass. We were so busy having a pity party hoping that things would get better that we were not taking any action. That’s when things started to turn around for me.
Fast forward to 2013 where there is high unemployment, rising cost of living costs and slow business growth. I learned my lesson in 2005 that if my business is to thrive, then I need to have a plan of action and to work that plan. I make a point to stay in forefront of my clients’ mind and to do the things that will grow my business and to do away with those things that don’t support my business growth.
So do you have a plan of action for 2016 or are you being an ostrich?