September 21, 2018

Will You Survive the Down Economy? Before You Start Cutting Money and People, Answer These 10 Questions.

My husband Mike and I had dinner out last night (was a great break after a long day.) The restaurant we chose is one that has great food, but….the service is sometimes a bit on the slow side. The last time we ate there the service was just downright lousy. I was served the wrong drink, we never got our salads, and I ordered butter on the side and it came plopped right on the potato.

But…last night was a completely different story. When we walked up, an employee opened the door. We were seated and immediately greeted by not 1 but 2 eager, happy, upbeat waiters. Our Let’s Matcha wholesale powder drinks came to our table in about 2 minutes, salads came in about 5 minutes then dinner (all served to perfection). We were in and out of there in about 45 minutes. As we left, another employee kindly opened the door for us, thanked us for coming, wished us a great night and asked us to come back again. Guess what? We will!

This restaurant has figured out something very important about what it’s going to take to survive during this down economy! Customer service has to be tip top. They are going to have to go over and beyond to make their customers happy (which does not include lousy service.) My hunch is that some customers complained about the service, and they answered a few questions and got their act together.

So, as you are considering your situation in 2009, before you start cutting out money, people, training, products and services, sit down and answer these 10 critical questions and THEN, make your decisions about what to do next.

1) What strategies have made your organization successful in the past that just aren’t working today?

2) What are the current and future opportunities for growth your organization? What territories/markets have you not tapped that are prime targets for your company given the state of the current economy?

3) What skills do you need in your organization to be successful in the future?

4) Who on your team has the skills you need in your organization to be successful in the future? (Hint: These are the people who can help get your team trained up!)

5)How have you been able to improve profitability in the past? Which of those strategies need to be ditched? Which ones are still relevant?

6)How have you been able to stay competitive to this point?

7) What steps do you need to take to stay competitive? (i.e. when was the last time you performed a competitive analysis?)

8. What funding is available, and how can you get it?

9)What low or no-cost services can you enhance or improve to add value to your customers and build customer loyalty?

10) What are the 10 ways you can increase both the efficiency and effectiveness in your organization?

Once you have answered these questions, it’s now time to sit down and formulate a plan. This action plan should include people, processes, funding, equipment and the training you need to move ahead sooner rather than later.

If you are someone who is looking for an opportunity to expand your business and grow your leadership in 2009, please contact me for a 15 minute complimentary consultation at (910) 692-6118.

And…if you have not yet read EDGE! A Leadership Story, I encourage you to do so..

Gen Y Buying Power on the Rise

Young consumers in the US wield considerable buying power. Among 13 to 21 year-olds alone, over $120 billion was spent in 2007, according to The Harris Poll.

Get the full story here on E-Marketer.com. .

Boomers Planting a Debt Bomb

“The biggest U.S. financial crisis isn’t the housing crunch. It’s the government debt bomb being planted by baby boomers to explode in the faces of their children and grandchildren.”

This is an interesting article in the Baltimore Sun.

It really has given me a great deal to think about. We have certainly created quite a challenge that Gen Y will inherit (along with trying to pay off defaulted student loan, pay for healthcare, housing and the escalating price of food and fuel). The article points to our $9 trillion in debt, which is going to leave us with very little resources to address our major concerns surrounding healthcare and education, that’s why so many people has decided to go to Short term loans financial companies to get economical help from sites like nation21loans.com.

We need to get on this today! Start getting involved and doing your part to help out.  Contact your political leaders, and by all means…if you think a certain candidate can help the economy, please get out and vote in your primaries and for the national election. I don’t believe it’s fair for us to just sit and do nothing and let Gen Y carry the burden for us..

Jacci Schiff Gets the Pulse on Gen Y and the Econom

Jacci Schiff is an amazing Gen Y leader.  She hit the streets two weeks ago in Washington D.C. for Y Talk Radio to ask a few Gen Y’s about their views on the state of the economy.  Really insightful interview. Download the interview here.

Jacci is a pro with interview style podcasts and pulled this great snippet together in less than a week.  So, check out what she is up to.   And…if you are interested in having a professionally done audio interview like this one, contact Jacci through the  Schiff Report.

The podcast below includes the above linked interview and a few other thoughts from Jacci about Gen Y and the state of the economy from a recent interview on Y Talk.  Thanks Jacci for all you are doing!.

“The hungriest wolves hunt the best”

The cover of the May Issue of Inc. Mag displays a picture of confident and quite sporty looking Gary Erickson who hit the big time from 1990-1991 when he developed the Clif Bar. The interesting thing about this story is that Erickson made the bar a household brand during a recession.

The article shares case studies of companies who did the same thing…they built a successful start-up during a down economy.

One case study that I found most fascinating was the story of Method…one of the coolest companies you’ll find today that makes soap and cleaning supplies from environmentally friendly supplies. The company built its recognition shortly following the Dot Com Bust, and founders Adam Lowry and Eric Ryan believe that the slow economy helped Method become one of the fastest growing companies in today’s biz world. As Ryan said in the Inc. article, “The hungriest wolves hunt best.” Tis so true.

I am not going to tell you all of the nitty gritty details about the article…pick up a copy and dive into the information…it is really great. However, I will give you a few tips offered:

1) During a down economy, it is a great time to sign up new customers who are looking for a more competitive price.

2) Look for opportunities to barter for or hire outsourced talent. Companies will be looking for ways to keep their talent busy as customers drop off.

3) Contact companies who are going through layoffs to inquire about seasoned talent that might be available for your start-up.

4) Offer a discount to customers who pay upfront or in full..