Everything is possible
Turn the worst into the best of times
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Americans are more pessimistic about their situation now than they have been in more than a quarter-century, according to a recent study by the University of Michigan’s Survey Research Center.
Last month at the Fortune Small Business Growth Summit in Atlanta, "In Search of Excellence" author Tom Peters asked the audience how long they believe the downturn will last. More than 57 percent said at least two years.
What can you do about it?
The most successful people and organizations don’t despair — they believe and act.
In 1993, Henry McGovern launched Poland-based American Restaurants with one Pizza Hut outlet in Poland. Today the $3 billion, 16,000-employee business is the largest restaurant chain in Eastern Europe.
McGovern’s philosophy? "Wszystko jest mo¿liwe" or "Everything is possible."
Like American Restaurants, you can choose to believe "Everything is Possible." Carry a hopeful, upbeat disposition and believe that good prevails. Network for Growth’s "Hot Dog Story" is a classic example of this principle.
Studies of what causes firms to fail during an economic downturn — cash flow issues, reduction in customer service levels, and lack of marketing investment — bring forth valuable lessons.
Companies that have been growing rapidly before a recession are vulnerable in a downturn because they have been using their cash flow to support their growth, and small changes in cash flow impact them greatly.
How to grow during a recession
The following are two practical pointers for turning the worst of times into the best of times.
Develop a good strategic plan and execute on it. What is your firm’s core ideology and competency; where do you want to go; and what is your plan to get there? Those with a plan outperform those without one, and having a written plan is a key success factor.
A recent study by Andrew Benett in Brandweek reported that 86 percent of consumers believe it is important that companies stand for something other than profitability. More than 70 percent believe businesses bear as much responsibility as governments for driving positive social change.
Now is the time to define your core, revise your strategy, and plan for next year. Then execute on it. Don’t wait.
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