After a year of rocky economic news, layoffs, hiring freezes, budget cuts and other corporate belt-tightening measures, savvy business professionals are wanting to break out of the cycle of negativity that has surrounded much of the business community for far too long.
While it has been a tough economy, real entrepreneurs are not ones to wallow in self-pity and ugly projections. Those who have the true soul of the entrepreneur want to grow their business no matter what is happening in the world around them. Waiting for an external answer is not how they operate, they create the solutions.
The realization that you cannot save your way to prosperity is starting to hit home. Companies who had cancelled marketing programs, PR, in-house sales training, travel, attendance at industry conventions, client appreciation, and other externally focused expenses to save in the short term are finding their sales are flat as they look toward recovery.
The Fed has issued statements proclaiming the end of the recession is near, but since so many marketing and sales efforts have been cut back over the past 18 months, pipelines are not nearly as robust as most would desire.
Smart companies are scrambling to get out in front of their competition as tides change. Many are starting to fear that their best employees have "recession fatigue" and will jump ship as soon as the job markets open.
I have heard from employees who work for companies, where the cut backs have been harsh, that they feel they have been good "team players" during the hard times -- but will look for new opportunities if they are not soon rewarded for their sacrifices by their current employers.
Others fear that their customers might be experiencing a sensation of "out of sight is out of mind"... as they have abandoned many of their visibility programs and client appreciation efforts during the down-turn. Now these top contacts might be tempted to try competitors who are starting to reach out. Like a new shiny object, the competition might look appealing if they have not seen you in a while.
Customers are also feeling the pains of the last year and are wanting to be associated with winners. The vendor who seems to be bucking the trends and standing tall is the one they want to associate with.
My advice? Stop talking about how bad things are and start making your own success. Invest now in your employees and customers and show them that you are confident in your ongoing relationship. Re-engage your marketing and business development efforts and find ways to partner with those in your network for mutually beneficial results.
All opportunities come from people. Embrace those around you and work together to lead the recovery.
Spending another year in limbo is not going to help anyone. The time is now to position your company for success in the new economy.
Have A Great Day.