As we’re approaching the halfway point of 2010, I feel it’s important to revisit the personal and business goals that we set for the year. Don’t have any goals set for 2010? It’s not too late to set them!
I feel that most of us have learned we have to look at the bottom line more closely. From speaking to clients and other business professionals, we have always looked for ways to increase the top line using sales, marketing, networking and the like. That is, and always will be, important, but it is human nature that, when things are going well revenue-wise, we take our eye off of the ball and get a little lazy.
So, what do we continue to do in any environment? Here are some important tips:
- Look at your costs. Are you leasing space? If so, do you still need as much as you did? If not, sit down with your landlord and have a conversation. You never know what might come out of that. Are you utilizing all of you office equipment at full tilt? If not, maybe you can combine some of them and maybe sell others. How about insurances, credit cards, etc.? Look through all with a fine-tooth comb.
- Take a good look at your staff. You have probably already downsized your staff by now and, if so, take a true 10,000-foot view of your existing staff. Are they working at full capacity? If not, maybe you can cross-train some of them to take on other duties. As you grow in the next months and years to come, be prepared now. Hiring is something we tend to do when we “need” someone, and we hire often out of desperation. We have the opportunity to take our best people, give them more opportunity to learn, take some ownership in their jobs and, when you can afford to pay them more, do it.
- Hire only the best salespeople. In the upcoming months, you will probably be looking for more sales staff – and that is a very good thing, but it can also be the beginning of you next downfall. I know that some of your layoffs were tough, but I also know that some were the best thing you did and, in hindsight, should have done a long time before. Take time to hire someone better than your best person. Look at things like attitude, confidence, etc. Don’t be as concerned with their experience in your industry. That is a trap we fall into. Hire for attitude, train for experience. Believe me: This will be much better then assuming that, because their resume says they have sold widgets before, they will be successful with you.
This time has been trying, but I do believe the worst has passed. Take this opportunity to fine-tune your organization. Keep your eyes on the top and bottom line, and you will move ahead successfully in the coming years.
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