Much has changed in the business world in the past 18 months! While this is certainly not any original observation, it is a reminder that the downturn in the economy is more than just a temporary drop in business for many of us.
It has also been a shift in how business is being done. Markets are changing – clients that you may have had for years – even decades, are either now out of business entirely, or at the least are looking at other ways to purchase the same goods and services. Can they purchase these items for less money elsewhere? Is there a new streamlined way of ordering available now? Or perhaps new technology has rendered your products obsolete entirely!
The danger in all of this is that while times are tough, we may not initially recognize these changes in business. It is easy to just chalk it up to the poor economy, while failing to see the fundamental shifts taking place. Right now is the time to really analyze your business model and make sure that it is still valid or current. Are your current markets going to recover? Is your workforce trained for new service offerings? And for non-profit organizations – is your donor base shifting? Have you relied on State/Federal funding too much in the past and now need to diversify services?
If you have not looked at these fundamentals lately, I would encourage you to do it soon – before you find yourself behind the curve!
On another level, and as part of this same exercise, take a good look at your existing top 10 or 20 accounts. Create a spreadsheet of all the services or products you offer, and check off those that each client currently purchases or utilizes. Then review this spreadsheet to look for potential opportunities. Perhaps you have several accounts that could easily use a specific service your provide, but they are not even aware you offer this. Sounds funny, but I suspect it is true more often that we would like to admit!
The prospect of change is not always easy, especially when it is forced upon us. On the other hand, those that embrace the opportunities that change brings, can find the real benefit.