I have to admit, many of my manufacturing and government clients are biding their time as the economy continues to surprise and concern many. Even with these segments of my client base slower than normal, I'm having more fun and enjoying what I do more than ever. I've been able to enter new markets, reach new clients, and create alliances with complementary businesses. Now this is the embarrassing part: I did this by simply looking for great, new opportunities.
As things started to ease last year, my advisory team and I confirmed that our foundation services-- strategic planning, succession planning, and leadership coaching / development -- were still right for our client base. We then asked ourselves, "What additional types of clients were going to be right for us and our expertise going forward? What types of industries, client demographics, locations, etc., would keep us excited, learning, and challenged? What type of client will keep our expertise sharp?" I know myself and my team well enough to know that if we're not constantly learning with and being challenged by our clients, we tend to "get comfortable." And as I always say, "Comfortable means slow." We slow down our drive for learning, we slow down our commitment to continued business development, and we slow down in how we challenge our clients. Getting comfortable doesn't help us and it certainly doesn't help our clients.
We researched and then reached out to new industries and markets. We targeted tangent market segments we'd not pushed into before. We put ourselves in positions to have access to dynamic, growing, and challenging clients. We've also been streamlining our processes and business infrastructure to take better advantage of technologies. We've worked to make various systems more user and client-friendly. As a result, we have become more accessible to larger and more diverse clients.
We're learning, growing, and being challenged. As a result, we're challenging and more effectively serving our clients. Who'd have thought that by "slowing down," we'd speed up? What could have been viewed as a real struggle has become a series of great opportunities for us.
So, how are you doing? It's all in how you decide to face your business' future. Will you have struggles to fight or opportunities to pursue?
Copyright MMIX Liz Weber, CMC, CSP - Weber Business Services, LLC.