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Is Duct Tape and Bubble Gum Holding Your Business Together?
"Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together. "
James Cash Penney
Often, when we have a treasured item that we don't want to let go, we glue, tape and use first aid to keep it whole rather than replace or repair it correctly. Many of us are guilty of doing this with our businesses for the past few years; literally taping them together, cutting corners and doing nothing to structure them towards growth. And as we slowly emerge from the recession, we remain stuck in survival mode.
Well, now is the time to set aside survival thinking and acting and begin to adopt a growth posture. How do we make the switch?
It is time to stop mourning for "what was" and to reconnect with "what is". Look for the opportunities that are available and go after them. It is the right time to shed fear mode and get into action mode. Toss the duct tape and bubble gum and start building your business for success, for now and the future.
- Change your thinking. Fear and uncertainty strongly influenced business owners' behaviors. The economy had many holding back or even retreating. Reverse that attitude; turn around the doom and gloom and move forward with optimism and confidence.
- Revisit your vision. With changes in the economy and shifts in business, things are not going back to the way they were. Adjust your vision to one that is realistic and reasonable, yet a stretch.
- Plan for the future. Remaining reactive instead of proactive won't get you very far. Change your strategy to fit the current and future market. Don't wait for things to happen. Make a plan, then make it happen.
- Structure your business for growth. Create and implement the systems and procedures to make your business more profitable, automated and repeatable. A mature company shouldn't be dependent on one or two individuals. Structure, not personalities, will create a more sustainable business.
- Get your finances in order. If you "robbed Peter to pay Paul" during difficult times, clean up your finances. Growth is dependent on having accurate data and utilizing financial reports to make decisions and to increase profit.
- Make decisions for the long-term. Many decisions, especially those requiring spending, have been on hold over the past several years. Now is the time to start making financial investments that will provide reasonable returns. Start making decisions based on measured risks to prepare the company for the future.