Thriving in a Challenging Economy

January 1, 2011
By

I recently stopped by a local deli to have a little something to eat while on one of my weekend bike rides. This deli is in a very upscale neighborhood in a brand new shopping center. There are plenty of businesses nearby to support a lunch crowd and a humongous recreation center just the other side of the parking lot.

I soon found out that the deli had been there a few years and that the owner was thinking about selling because business was so bad. I wasn’t surprised when the owner told me this, because he “pooh-poohed” all of my business development questions that I had peppered into our conversation.

I asked the deli owner about his community outreach and marketing: Had he hosted a mixer for his local chamber of commerce? Was he offering special sunset dinners on movie nights that the shopping center management was sponsoring on Thursday nights? The movie screen is literally just outside his main entrance. What about popcorn and hot dogs, I queried? They already sell hot dogs… Another excuse… Have you placed flyers on the cars at the baseball fields at the recreation center or the “Y”? The playing fields are always “packed” on weekends and there are no pizza places nearby… Another objection… My next question was going to be, “do you want to sell me your deli? I’ll make it work!”

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In today’s global marketplace, ideas and technologies are constantly evolving. To be successful, businesses need to adopt growth, innovation and leadership as the cornerstones of their growth strategies

Leaving the store I remembered something I heard a long time ago, “you don’t just have a nice day. You have to go out and GET YOURSELF a nice day!”

This axiom holds true especially in today’s challenging economy. When they closed the Maytag plant in Newton, Iowa — people moved away. The town decided to do something about it, and now Newton is a world center for alternative green energy manufacturing. With the help of state and county tax incentives, Newton attracted two new factories in the burgeoning clean-energy industry.

One, TPI Composites, makes the massive blades for turbines that turn wind into electricity. Nearby, Trinity Structural Towers has retrofitted the old Maytag No. 2 plant, location of the former production line, to build the towers that hold the blades and turbines.

They are succeeding because they re-tooled and found out that “made in the USA” can compete with China! They didn’t stand around waiting to become “victims of this economy.”

In today’s global marketplace, ideas and technologies are constantly evolving. To be successful, businesses need to adopt growth, innovation and leadership as the cornerstones of their strategies. Businesses have to be agile and be able to respond to the changing marketplace and measure their progress at minimum every quarter.

In any economic decline or recession, companies need to become even more aggressive and proactive in identifying and evaluating opportunities and implementing a solid growth strategy. Being too conservative will only result in losing market share and falling behind the competition.

Those with a winning attitude, that take action on their knowledge in order to attain the vision they seek, will succeed.

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