It’s all a question of balance

It's all a question of balance
During the Great Recession, it was natural that most (all?) businesses “battened-down the hatches” and minimised discretionary expenditure. If you did that and survived, well done!

How have you been faring/acting since? Has it felt like treading on shifting ice flows? If so, you may have practiced great caution and risk aversion but have you got the balance right?

What has that done to your business growth strategy? Is performance sluggish? Is this thinking now a serious risk to the future wellbeing of your business? Has your grip on the purse strings become too tight?

If so, I suggest it’s time to reconsider.

I’m not advocating profligacy, far from it. There is a lurking danger, however, that we get caught in a mindset of caution and fail to check whether our rational prudence (I normally resist using that word, as it always reminds me of Gordon Brown!) of a few years ago has now become a limiting belief.

A business with tight resource constraints, by definition, has no “spare” capacity. If it’s efficient, its ability to over perform or “go the extra mile” will be non-existent. Its people may also have developed an attitude, based on the evidence of management behaviour, that it’s better to say “no” to customers and prospects than try to do more or perform better – because they wouldn’t get any backing to spend more money or provide more resources.

If that’s how it is in your business it’s time you took a step back, reflected on where you are, how you are operating financially and updated your growth strategy. If you still have the ambition for growth that is!

Beware of starving your business of its commercial oxygen. Making some small incremental investments, in training, new systems or processes, or in marketing will get you back on the growth curve again. It will also give your staff and your customers added confidence in your business and its future.

Be assured, as ever, that if you are not taking these steps your smart competitors will be. So, what’s your first investment priority?

Author: Andrew Hall