Are you holding on waiting for your world to get back to normal after the recession – if so, then stop it right now – there’s no such thing as normal and today your best play is to embrace the economic downturn and seeming chaos as one of the most significant opportunities for growth in recent history.
Now is the time to get serious about preparing for the rebound. Organizations that take steps today will be poised to take market share and talent from competitors large and small.
Right now is the time to adapt to shifts in buying patterns and needs, try new things, embrace chaos, let go of past assumptions, take a fresh look at what your customers really want, and perhaps, piss off an entire market with your rebound point of view. (A lot of people want to be unhappy, so let them.)
Here are a few things you should be understanding and doing to put your self squarely in the path of the impending rebound.
Take even more advantage of technology – By retooling just about everything your company does with an eye on doing it faster, cheaper and more distributed, with the help of technology, you can gain a price and results edge some of your competitors will never understand or be able to touch. Moving your data and applications to cloud computing functionality is likely the fastest way to gain a technological advantage today.
Of course, utilizing free and low cost applications that allow you to more effectively collaborate with your prospects, customers, mentors, suppliers, partners and even competitors is a business practice that will become standard fare for rebound economy players.
Steal the best talent – I admit that’s a bit dramatic, but there has rarely been a more talented, hungry group of job seekers available than right now.
In too many cases these folks have seen what happens when a large, less nimble organization can’t adapt to change. This generation of talent is suddenly enamored with the prospect of working in a small business culture, touching and impacting both the customer experience and the actual products and processes.
So, while stealing is a bit harsh, taking advantage of their new-found point of view to grab the best and the brightest is a smart play today.
Invest in training everyone – Take the folks that you have and folks you might add and spend the time and, yes perhaps the resources, to make them smarter, faster, more integrated (meaning everyone can answer customer service calls), and more culturally bought in.
That list is a tall order, particularly if it’s not been something you focused on in the past. A good starting point is to make certain everyone in the organization can cite what business you are really in, who makes an ideal client for that business, and what your business does that customers value.
I believe the first step is making training a priority, even if it’s just a weekly meeting to talk about what went right and what could go better.
If you can do that then training them how to read a balance sheet or operate critical job processes should be a snap.
Recruit strategic rebound partners – One of the fastest ways to take advantage of your rebound strategy is to recruit and train a strategic partner network to do the same.
Go out and find the best of class providers for everything else your customers need to achieve their ultimate goals and learn everything you can about their business, what their ideal customer is, how to introduce them to your customers, and their core message of differentiation.
Then, offer to teach them how take advantage of technology to dominate, hire incredible talent, and train a customer consumed culture.
If you bring partners along with you on this rebound trek, the strategy and team you build today will be an unstoppable opportunity machine tomorrow.
John Jantsch is a marketing and digital technology coach, award winning social media publisher and author of Duct Tape Marketing.
Image credit: glenn