1 December 2001
Time to throw out the old rules
By Greg Hale
Sometimes when the economic storms seem gloomiest, new opportunities gust in for forward-thinking entrepreneurs.
Remember those dark, stagnant days in the '70s when the auto industry was failing? It's obvious now they needed to begin making smaller, more fuel-efficient, better built cars. But what did the Big 3 continue doing? They kept building big gas hogs. They saw a difficult economic time and they continued with the status quo. That just opened the door for a smart business like Toyota to come in and become a top selling car maker in the U.S. market.
Our industry is facing its dark days right now. Revenue projections for 2002 appear more dire than ever. Listening to all the forecasts within your company may make you want to dig a deep hole, jump in, and pray the economic misery will pass you by. If you want to be like the U.S. auto makers in the '70s, follow the old rules for dealing with economic crises and see what it gets you.
But for you more progressive thinkers, why don't you consider other measures than slashing your budgets, cutting staffs, and settling for a weak marketing plan? Use this time as an opportunity.
That's where the leaders in your company come in. These new-age lieutenants don't have to come up with all the ideas for your company, but they have to be able to listen, rally the troops, execute, and then maintain the momentum. They have to be unafraid to try something different. From the plant floor all the way to the top, true leaders should drive your company out of its economic quagmire. Just look at Toyota.
It's easy to resort to the old business tactics when times are tough. Tighten costs, reduce all marketing expenses, and start cutting people. But aren't you tired of paying for the lack of quality leadership during the heady days when spending and hiring ran rampant? Why not consider getting aggressive with your marketing? Let the industry know your company is strong, vibrant, and producing quality product. Let them know you listened to them by working out new and better ways to tighten your part of the operation.
Throw out the old rules.
Doing things a new way is never easy; don't let the setbacks of 2001 force you to revert to the old ways. Keep your focus firm, and the end result will be a vibrant new-age company in 2002.
Talk to me, email@example.com or (919) 990-9275.