Are you happy with your company's 2008 performance?
So, you've just cut 10% or more of your staff and are looking at the 2009 business plan. You remember, the one you spent 3 months getting approved beginning back in July, long before things started to self-destruct in the economy?
Things have to change to get even close to the projections for the first quarter and if you stick with "business as usual", you definitely won't get where you thought you would, since your resources have been trimmed so substantially.
So where do you start?
1. MAKE A LIST OF WHAT TO STOP DOING - Look at EVERYTHING that you do that doesn't directly serve the customer and generate revenue and see if you need to keep doing it. I talked to a woman this week who works for a hotel company in Hawaii (where visitors are down substantially) and she told her boss that she was going to have to stop producing certain reports. He said ok, then a week later came back and asked her where the report was.
2. FIGURE OUT HOW TO DELIGHT YOUR CUSTOMERS - At a time when everyone else is cutting, invest in customer service. Start by talking to your front line and ask them each for 3 ideas of how to absolutely delight the people that buy from you. Implement at least 10 ideas.
3. IDENTIFY ONE NEW MARKET FOR YOUR PRODUCT - 40 years ago someone who had a great sit down family hamburger restaurant would not have thought that it would be possible to serve their food to someone that would eat while driving. Huh? Knock a hole in the wall and put in a speaker system so they can order from their cars? The product is the same. It is just wrapped a little differently, but it is still a great hamburger. What hole do you need to knock out of your business to serve your product to a new market?
4. CARE MORE ABOUT YOUR EMPLOYEES - OK, now I've really gone off the deep end. I know. As a die-hard iconoclast, I am going to stick to my guns on this one. Your employees, and even your executives have just gone through something terrible. One round of cuts, maybe two, maybe three. Each time wondering if they were going to be next. And watching their friends lose their jobs. Watching you get rid of the really talented work horses, keeping the not-so-great, low paid 20-somethings that don't know the meaning of true work ethic and who don't really understand the customers or the marketplace. Oh, they will learn, but you really have to turn your eyes to those left behind and talk to them about how to make the work environment better. Actually items 1 and 2 will help alot and if you actually listen AND implement, then move on to item 3 together, they may actually get excited about coming to work again.
If all else fails, and you need some help. Give us a call.
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