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This is no time to be doing business-as-usual...

Posted on January 31, 2011

Steve Gilroy, Chief-Executive of Vistage International identifies three areas which businesses need to focus on during these difficult times.

For most of us in business, the past couple of years have created a new business landscape that is unlike anything we have ever seen. Businesses and consumers have been forced to re-assess their take on life, their values and their businesses. But where there are challenges, there are also great opportunities.

At Vistage, our members are fortunate to hear from some of the brightest business minds and we challenge each other and hold ourselves accountable for taking the tough action needed to seize opportunity and be more successful.

Whatever business sector we're in, the real risk is in carrying on with 'business-as-usual'. So use these challenging times to re-assess your business fundamentals. Here are three things we all need to be doing right now:

Re-evaluate your target market and sales approach

If demand has dropped and you're going after the same target market, then you're chasing a smaller pot. How many of us have looked in detail at HOW our traditional market has changed? How many of us have gone back to key customers and asked WHY they buy from us, and HOW their needs have changed?

What NEW markets could we look at? What NEW sales behaviours or activities do we need to put in place to reflect changes or opportunities? The old saying holds true do what you've always done and you'll get what you always got.

Take a good look at your value proposition

Is your value proposition crystal clear? Do you know why your customers buy from you? Can all of your staff understand and articulate your value proposition? Is your market position clear? Do your messages and actions support or weaken your value proposition?

In these tough times, there are winners at the bottom end of any market (e.g. Poundland) and winners at the premium end (e.g. Apple) what matters is that your value proposition is absolutely clear, and supported by everything you say and do.

Practice lean and think the unthinkable

As well as looking at how you grow your business, take a hard look at what is working well and whether there is any 'slack'. But it's not just about sizing - there are new business models, new practices, new staffing models, new partnering opportunities, new IT solutions in the cloud, new purchasing and finance models. We can 'hunker down' or we can open our eyes to new approaches that could make our business even more efficient. It will mean change and it might mean thinking the unthinkable.

It certainly is a very challenging time to be in business, but it's also a very exciting time. Vistage helps business leaders to take the tough decisions needed to achieve better results, to be more successful. Visit our website at www.vistage.co.uk to see if Vistage could help your organisation.

The RM2 Partnership is pleased to recommend Vistage. If you wish to discuss anything raised in this article in further detail, please contact Steve Gilroy at ceo@vistage.co.uk.

 
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