It’s that time of the year again where executive teams get together to discuss their goals for the new year. Many leaders are concerned about the economy and the future of their companies. There are debates about cutbacks to get ahead of the curve to live for another day. Many leaders have been taught to play defense in a downturn and their go-to strategy is often to cut employees.
There are many ways to not only survive a downturn, but to thrive through it. Healthy companies are constantly looking at their workforce to ensure they have the right number of people in the right seats. They have options in place if the business does better or worse than planned.
These companies are looking at a variety of options, constantly improving their performance. They see a downturn as an opportunity. They have been building a war chest during the good times, so they are prepared for the bad. When others struggle through a downturn, they are happy to capture their market share or even acquire them.
Company bottlenecks are the areas of the business slowing the company down or preventing them from achieving optimal results. Great companies work on new offerings in good times and bad. While competitors are cutting back on investments, these companies continue to advance with a differentiated offering. With continuous advancements, they build great brand awareness and improve market positioning.
Great companies make sure they have no cash restraints, maintaining industry leading operating profits to ensure access to capital as needed. By removing this bottleneck, companies are easier to run under any condition.
These companies continue to invest in Sales and Marketing, ensuring predictable revenue does not become a bottleneck. Following a plan and process to grow through a downturn allows the company to thrive when the markets recover.
The last thing a company would need is a supply chain disruption. This bottleneck can be crippling. By maintaining financial strength and market demand, the best companies can establish deep relationships with their supply chain and avoid bottlenecks in this critical area.
As you close out the year and finalize your annual planning, leading company’s look at the areas of the business that have been holding them back. A simple approach is to rate each area of the business on a scale of 1 – 10 and determine where you are falling short and put a plan in place to improve in these areas.
A well-run company will do better than their peers in any business condition and everybody is happier being part of the success.
Dale Robinette is facilitating a year-long accelerated Scaling Up program with 5 leadership teams beginning next quarter. Each quarter, this group will learn best practices around People, Strategy, Execution and Cash. We are looking for leadership teams who are interested in growth and have a clear and compelling drive to achieve it. They must be passionate about their mission and willing to lean in and do the work to provide opportunities for their company and their community.