Stop Blaming The Economy..Or Anything Else For That Matter

I was using Comment Kahuna to build some back links recently. One of the most valuable features of this free program is that it surfaces some pretty cool high PR sites. Well one of the top financial market blogs had an article by an educator with all the credentials for teaching at a top B School. The article detailed the statistical difference between profit growth and cash flow growth in 2007. The conclusion was that another indicator was pointing to economic doom and gloom.

My response was that this was a perfect example of information that is likely to be completely accurate and totally useless. This is content designed to fuel negative thinking.

The facts are there are successes all around us and we can find them in any country and any economy. There are also companies in trouble and going out of business in any economy. Personally I have worked with business doing extremely well in a recession and ones on the brink of extinction in a booming economy. What are the key characteristics of success in any economy?

Success companies:

1. Have a very clear definition of their customer base and target market

2. Have clearly established performance goals for the company that are then redefined as goals and action plans for each function within the company.

3. Assign accountability for the action steps required to achieve the goals at the functional level.

4. Measure actual vs. plan on a timetable that makes sense based on what is being monitored. Cash position for example may be monitored daily.

5. Act quickly on variances from positive and negative variances from plan.

That is about it and while there is more detail at , these five steps apply to every business and the emphasis is on every.

People fall into two categories. They either manage the business using the above five steps or use excuses like: it is the economy, or the dollar, foreighn competition, I don’t feel like it, I can’t expect them to do their job today; or “we’ll get to it soon” Do you want to find the successful businesses? The next time you meet a person who has makes no excuses, doesn’t complain about external factors and is generally on purpose, ask them what business they are in. I’ll bet it is a very successful one.

Steve Pohlit, Business Development Consultant and Coach