Don’t Just Survive . . . Thrive! (January 2009)

Most companies have either just completed or are diligently trying to finish their budgets and plans for 2009. Given the tumultuous 2008 and the similar start to 2009, it’s easy to imagine that many companies are thinking about what it will take to survive this year. While it’s obviously critical that you survive, it’s also a good time to think about setting your sights a little higher. Ask yourself, “What will it take to thrive in 2009 and beyond?”

While that might seem like a difficult (if not impossible) notion to contemplate, especially in some industries, difficult times often make for opportunities. During slow economic times, there is normally a shake out of the weakest players in every industry. While that can be unfortunate, it’s also part of the economic reality in which we live. But when the business cycle turns, as it invariably will, there will be more opportunity for those that remain. The question at hand is: What can you do today to position yourself for a stronger tomorrow?

o Is this the time to think about picking up new talent that may now be available?
o Can you use any slowdown in your core business to develop new lines of products or services by deploying people and resources to other areas?
o If your staff is a bit slower than usual, can that time be used for training or to upgrade their skills?
o Are there opportunities to do more for your current customers?
o Might there be some areas where you should increase spending as opposed to only thinking of cutting back?
o Is there an opportunity to purchase a struggling competitor?

I realize that this is somewhat “out-of-the-box” thinking but that is what is required for a company to be successful. 2009 will likely present a number of challenges for both big and small companies. How companies respond to those challenges will be the difference between those that survive 2009 and those that are poised to thrive when the economy improves.

Search for the negatives in your business and eliminate them. Whether it is relationships with underperforming vendors, employees, or even problem customers, now is not the time to be carrying extra baggage. Take corrective action. There are others who would welcome a relationship with your business during difficult times.

Set your sights high. Look for the opportunities that difficult times present and take advantage of them to the greatest extent possible. Search for ways to become a stronger player in your marketplace. Make yourself memorable to your customers and give them a reason to maintain an on-going relationship with you.

If your business could benefit from fractional CFO services, I would welcome the chance to speak with you. Please give me a call at (314) 863-6637 or send an email to

your cash is flowing. know where.®

Ken Homza
Copyright @ 2009 Homza Consulting, Inc.

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