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Time To Shore Up Your Systems

There is a saying that goes something like this:

‘A rising tide may raise all ships, but when the water recedes, you see who wasn’t wearing pants.’

Although the wording may be off slightly and it could be considered crude, I think you get the idea if you think of it in terms of businesses and the economy. In economic boom times, many businesses do well simply because everyone is doing well. However, when times get tight you start to see which businesses have the ability to weather the storm. That ability comes from culture and systems.

This blog entry will be short because it’s simply to say that as the stock market is in flux, and the Fed looks to control inflation by raising rates to “gently” slow the economy, we don’t really know how gentle it will be. If business activity drops off too greatly due to consumer demand slowing, we need to be ready by ensuring that our businesses have the ability to make it through the potential storm.

Some of the items you can work on to ensure the long-term viability of your business:

  • Solidify your culture. Make sure the team you have onboard, or the team you choose to keep should layoffs become necessary, all fit within the mission, vision, and values for your organization.

  • Implement a marketing system. If your marketing has been loose at best, or you’ve been living off the benefits of a good economy, now is the time to formalize your marketing systems. Don’t waste money by spending on items that don’t produce results. Instead, look at what does produce verifiable results and invest in those areas.

  • Control expenses. Your expenses have likely increased in some areas that you can’t control, such as labor. However, in good times businesses frequently expand their costs by adding things that seem nice, but that aren’t really necessary. Analyze your expenses and trim the items that don’t affect your operations or profitability.

  • Adjust pricing if you haven’t already. This may be a delicate area, but if you haven’t adjusted your prices in the last year or so, it could be a good time for a slight increase. We are still in the period where everyone knows inflation has been high, and everyone knows labor is in short demand, so a price increase is still viable if you haven’t done so recently. Better to make an acceptable profit for a while longer prior to a recession, than squeak by and have problems later on. You can always adjust prices back down in the future if you feel it’s costing you business.

These are just a few of the items to consider as you look to shore up your business in light of the current economic activity. The discipline of these activities can be difficult, but it is far easier than facing hard times down the road.

I wish you the best in your business.

Mark Goldman



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