Friday, April 22, 2011

The Week and the Weekend

It's a big time for Canadians - the NHL playoffs are in full swing, a federal election is looming, and Easter weekend is imminent. For those of us living in Alberta, the snow finally stopped coming (we never thought it would end) and we might actually see the sun if the weatherman's promises prove true. The economy is still stumbling its way along, the effects of the devastation in Japan are rippling through, and technology continues to make us feel like if we blink we'll miss the next big thing (how's that iPad 2 treating you?). This is the world we live in, and it's closer to home than its ever been.

The result of living in a global economy is that anything you want to see, experience, purchase, try out, or deliver is only a few clicks away. No longer do many businesses cater only to the clientele within a geographical location - in fact, your clientele can come from anywhere in the world. The explosion of social media and the resulting marketing campaigns have closed the gaps that once kept businesses from expanding too far from their local neighbourhoods. The catch to this is that business has also become remarkably susceptible to global forces. I've heard several people joke about it "raining in China" or inquiring what the "price of rice was in China" as a means of indicating that something meant nothing to their immediate situation. Unfortunately, the price of rice in China, and whether or not those rice fields are well-wetted, is becoming a determining factor on supply and demand in many, many nations. Problems in Libya drive the cost of fuel up in North America. Mad cow disease in Canada affects beef markets in the USA and Europe. And tsunami devastation in Japan affects electronics and automobile suppliers far across the Pacific Ocean.

How does this affect local businesses? It means rising to meet the competing forces on a grander scale. It means offering your clientele every advantage you possibly can to make your product the best product. It means delving into your own ammunition of social media presence and market share. It means grabbing the reins of your business and figuring out how to navigate your enterprise through new challenges and issues. It means drawing your team into a close-knit group of overperformers that rely on one another and yet can still lead individually (and take your company up with them). And it means tracking every minute and every penny to make sure nothing is falling through the cracks. Now is not the time to waste anything - to get your head above the rest, your business needs to outperform on every level.

Advertisers are jumping at playoff coverage slots, businesses are anxious to increase awareness of political decisions that could topple their profit margins in a single day, and many are wondering if they can afford to observe another statutory holiday. At this point, I would say there's a lot of cards on the rickety economic table - it's time to bolster your business with proven analytical efforts and ensure your profit base is as secure as you can make it. It's time to redouble your efforts and put your company first. Business is still booming, but your business needs to take that pace of growth in its stride. Start today to make your business the best its ever been. Call or email me to find out what ActionCOACH can do for you.

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