Has your business survived the economic downturn? Notice that I used
the past tense. Many economists believe that the recession officially ended
in June 2009. Recessions are very Darwinian in nature; they thin the weakest
out. So if you survived, what is your next step? Take advantage of the fact
that you are a survivor.
So what are some of the ways to do that now? First, develop a strategy
for growth. Think about market trends: demographics, technology, government,
and yes, the impact of this past recession. Analyze your strategy from both
a financial and operational perspective; identify the financial and human resources
you will need to make it materialize.
Second, seek out capital. Banks are lending, but they are not giving away
money. Interest rates are still at historical lows. There is also an enormous amount of private equity sitting on the sidelines ready to be invested. Take advantage of it. Be prepared and go to your lender or investor with a comprehensive professional
loan or investment proposal.
Third, recognize that labor markets are slow to respond to an uptick in the economy. Go out and hire the people you need now while there are great people available at reasonable costs. Get the right people to execute your strategy.
Down the road, you can reap the rewards of your leadership. But now
is the time to act, not hide.