At the time this article was written, the US economy is booming with record low unemployment. Consumer confidence is high, companies are hiring, and many of our Mothernode customers are reporting more work and more sales than ever before, especially those who deal with construction and infrastructure markets. Life is great and many other countries are reporting similar economies around the globe.
So what do you do to grow your business in an economy that seems to be doing that for you? The truth is many small businesses around the world don’t do anything at all. They ride the wave and respond to their markets and demands, with their primary focus being that of fulfilling orders. When demand is high, some will expand and others will lengthen lead times to adjust to the abundance of work. Larger companies, on the other hand, will grow operations, put more funding into R&D, and spend more on business development.
In a booming economy, risks can be minimized so take them if you can, while you can afford to and while it’s less hurtful on your business to fail (depending on the size of the risk of course). Look at it this way, as an example, if you’ve considered hiring another sales professional, extending your geographical reach, adding more distributors or taking on new products, if you cannot do this in a healthy economy when you’re having a banner year, then when do you think you would be able to do it?
Not all businesses do as well as they could in a good economy. Why? Mostly because they aren’t prepared for the increased business due to cumbersome or poorly managed processes, insufficient automation and excessive manual methods within their workflow. Small businesses collectively waste billions of dollars on unnecessary work-hours and poor procedures that stunt their ability to grow during a good economy because they spend most of their time trying to keep their heads above water. While this seems like a good problem to have, it’s a problem nonetheless. Slower deliveries and longer lead times will generate less overall revenue, and having to manage overflow could lead to quality issues and compromised customer service, something your clients won’t soon forget, and something you don’t want to experience in tougher times.
Ignoring your opportunity to make improvements when you are at your busiest will surely come back to haunt you in a less fruitful economy. Companies that have well-established processes often do better in a stronger economy, because they have a platform that prepares them for more stressful demands. The benefits of having a well-oiled machine become more apparent when volume and demanding delivery dates become factors.
While it may not be the best idea to deploy a new ERP or CRM when your business is at its busiest, it’s at least a good idea to acknowledge your challenges and start considering improvements where they are necessary to enhance your efficiency, automate processes, reduce workloads and eliminate bottlenecks. Otherwise, you’ll continue to face the same challenges over and over again.
Booming economies mean it’s time for growth. Organizations that don’t have a CRM or don’t effectively use their current CRM should take advantage of more stable times to improve their sales processes and implement additional email marketing automation to help continuously build their pipeline and expand their prospect base. Many small businesses tend to flat-line their sales and marketing initiatives when dealing with more business than they can normally handle, resulting in being less prepared when markets slow, causing their sales and marketing strategies to be more reactive and less proactive.