As many business owners are thinking about their sales and marketing plans for 2012, I looked back at a post I made at this time 2 years ago (see Do you have a sustainable model to generate new business?) and wondered whether I should just re-post it.Posted by: David Regler @
Back then, looking at the tough market conditions facing service companies, I asked the question "Is this just a passing phase... or is this "business as usual" for
the next few years?"
Anyone who's been watching the slow-mo train wreck of the Eurozone will surely now be thinking it's the latter.
Chatting with a client yesterday who runs a consulting firm, he summed the mood up by saying that it's going to take at least another 3 years before things get better.
Well, he is an optimist after all :-)
With analysts saying that Europe's facing a lost decade of growth you could be forgiven for thinking that it's all over, but let's not confuse macroeconomics with your own business.
You see, to me, even if there's no growth at a GDP level that doesn't mean there has to be no growth for your business. In fact, revenue growth for your business really has little to do with GDP growth and more to do with how you run your own sales and marketing efforts.
Sure, the current market conditions are tough for many but, and this is my point, you'd just better get used to it.
Back in 2008 when we were all thinking it would be a short sharp recession, cutting back and putting things on hold was a sensible approach. Then when it all bounces back you can put your foot back on the pedal, right?
But, for many business owners today, there is no more room to cut back. Cut back and you don't have a business anymore. In fact, do nothing and you won't have a business anymore.
You need to stake your claim and find a way to grow.
And I mean grow... not just survive.
Of course, you need to be realistic, which is why I say you need an austerity plan for growth.
Which may sound contradictory but what I mean is you need a plan to grow your business during these times of austerity. But there is still business out there. Sure, it's tougher to win and you need to do more for less, etc. Those things haven't changed, in fact they've just become baked in.
But, let me repeat, there's still business there.
And now's the time to find a way of winning it.
Beat your competition, innovate your marketing. Be creative, because it's at this time that the strongest businesses will grow.
As a final passing thought, here's 2 books I'd recommend reading at this time:
Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid and Blue Ocean Strategy
Re-thinking your business model, partnering with clients (and suppliers) in new, sustainable ways and re-shaping your proposition are all ways to see a huge potential for growth in the current crisis.