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Business Strategies in a Down Economy

What can companies do to position themselves for success and earnings boosts in the future when facing a challenging economy?

Now is a good time to take a few steps back and really look at the business and how you have been running it.  What makes you different or better than your competition?  How can you make your company stand out above the rest?  Use this time to take a good realistic assessment of where you are now and where you want to be in the future.  And what you need to do different than you have been doing to get you there.  Taking the time to evaluate what’s working and what needs work and putting a plan in writing to get it done can be a key to success.

Can this economy be viewed as an opportunity to streamline operations and achieve greater efficiencies?

Most definitely.  When things are going really well, some companies have a tendency to be more lenient with budgeting and other business guidelines.  When things get tight they can be forced to re-assess how they have been managing the business.   This can be a great opportunity to streamline operations, put better systems and business guidelines in place and run a more efficient and effective business.

What leadership qualities are best when company morale may be low as a result of economic impact?

When company morale is low as a result of economic impact, leaders may need to maintain a positive attitude and “carry the weight on their shoulders” without it being too obvious.   Think about low cost ways to improve moral.  Maybe a company pot-luck picnic.  Maybe give the manager the ability to give a “gift” when a job is done above and beyond what is expected.  For example a manager may give the employee a hand written note and a pair of movie tickets as a thank you for a job well done.  Or even lottery tickets.  Low cost to the business but can make a difference with morale.

Nancy Butler, August 2011 ©