Some begin each day by asking, “what am I going to do in order to get better today” and end each day with, “how’d I do today?” If you already subscribe to that line of thinking, you can stop reading now. Top performers and athletes live by this every day. They don’t need a global pandemic to cause them to think about getting better, it’s just in their DNA. For folks in different parts of the country, this “pause” is entering its seventh week. So now I’ll ask you, what have you been working on to improve during this time?
There’s Never Enough Time
There was never enough time to work on the business. There was never enough time to work on professional development. And, there was never enough time to work at just getting better at what you do. Right now there are many that are busier than ever. Busy with LIFE. A spouse without a job, or two people sharing the dining room table with laptops blazing and non-stop Zoom calls. Oh, and don’t forget the home schooling and pet sitting duties mixed in just for fun. I get it. And while I recognize that while all of this is going on, there are many whose business lives have just hit the pause button. This is the group that can take advantage of the time they now have and put it to good use. Whatever your job is, identify an area that can be improved. Read a book, search the internet, or collaborate with a peer via Zoom. Now is the time to work on this.
Everyone Is On Pause
“My customers were not working, so I couldn’t make any calls.” That has been a common reply from many of the sales reps that I’ve spoken to over the past several weeks. I would agree that some of your customers may not be looking to buy print right now. I would also suggest that they are trying to come up with ways to capture market share and regain the edge they had once their business opens up again. Not buying much print right now, but might be in the market for some great ideas.
This is also a great time to expand your connections. Reach out and broaden the amount of people that you know. Start within your existing customers and move to your prospects and suspects. Send them a note asking them how they’re doing. Let them know that you were thinking of them and that you would like to collaborate on some ideas for the future. If you only know one person at a company, do some homework and connect to others who could be influencers and may ultimately affect your opportunity to grow your business with that account. Not everyone is on pause. Many are very open to a great conversation that helps them view their business outlook in a positive fashion.
We Were Doing Just Fine
Some companies came off of a great 2019, and started the year off very strong. The unprecedented pause then hit everybody and stalled their progress. They are now awaiting the restart of the economy and for when their customers get back to work. Their plan is to pick up where they left off. That could happen. And then again, depending on the customer mix, it may not. Don’t become a victim. One angle to consider is that there could be many new opportunities emerge in your markets. Competitors that either couldn’t or have decided not to weather the storm, and customers that have hot products and are in an intense growth mode may create your next opportunities. Be prepared to capitalize on either.
If your business was doing great before the pause, congratulations! Now is the time you should be working at getting even better. Top performers don’t take anything for granted, they over-prepare and leave nothing to chance. Maintain your top performer status by working at getting better every day.
It’s Not Too Late To Start
What book have you read, what process have you re-examined, and what list of customers have you gone through with a fine tooth comb to develop strategies that will help them restart their business? Get that yellow notepad out and start writing down all the things that you and your team can work on. It’s not too late to start and the new habits that you develop will reap benefits for a long time to come.
If you have any comments or thoughts as to how you’ve approach these issues, please send me a note or include them below.
Mike Philie can help validate what’s working and what may need to change in your business. Changing the trajectory of a business is difficult to do while simultaneously operating the core competencies. Mike provides strategy and insight to owners and CEOs in the Graphic Communications Industry by providing direct and realistic assessments, not being afraid to voice the unpopular opinion and helping leaders navigate change through a common sense and practical approach. Learn more at www.philiegroup.com, LinkedIn or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.