Monday Mornings with Madison


According to financial experts, the Great Recession of 2009 may be heading towards its much-hoped-for bottom, with recent economic indicators suggesting that there are signs of renewed life in some sectors. You and your clients may be seeing the beginnings of a recovery, which means that it’s time to focus on opportunities, rather than limitations.

Do you remember when you started out, the zeal and enthusiasm you experienced when you first took on the business world?  Do you recall the daily exhilaration of doing something important, something meaningful, something that could perhaps develop into a legacy for your family? You were hungry for success in those days, and you worked hard, as if the very success you yearned for hinged on each decision you made. You sought out ideas that were sharp, creative and honed for the growth of your business. Now, you need to regain that dedicated spirit and look for ways to stimulate your own economy. Here are some steps to take.

Start Brainstorming!
We can solve the current economic crisis one company at a time, and it might as well begin with yours. There are probably dozens of ways to rekindle the fire at the heart of your business.  When was the last time you met with key people in your company to discuss innovative approaches? Take advantage of the excellent people all around you and work with them to formulate fresh strategies to combat drooping sales figures. Try a few approaches that you’ve never considered before. Experiment. Be willing to crawl out onto some limbs in order to bring in those new sales and clients. If there was ever a time to be daring and bold, this is definitely it!

Do You Have a Long-Term Growth Plan in Place?
Some of us have allowed fear of the future to quash our long-term growth plans, but we never make good decisions when we make them out of fear. That’s largely the reason that so many companies are languishing right now. We’ve all tapped into the fear that our business will go under, that we won’t make it through this economic downturn. Instead, it’s time to think in prosperous terms. Stop pulling back. Instead, launch out into the deep waters – that’s where the Big Fish are, after all. Spend some time this week reflecting on the future of your industry and your company. Forget about this past year and its bleak numbers. You know that sooner or later, the economy will turn around. What can you do now to be ready when it does?

Fear is the Enemy.
The current economic crisis in America should not be compared to the Depression of 1929. Though there are some similarities, there are hugely significant differences as well. Communications today are global and nearly instantaneous, and Internet-based businesses account for almost half the current volume of retail sales in the United States. Even if your own industry has not yet been transformed by these new forces, it’s simply a matter of time before it is. How can you harness this explosion of interconnectivity to grow your company?

Rose-Colored Glasses.
We certainly don’t want to put on rose-colored glasses and refuse to deal with the challenging realities that confront us all. But realize this: thousands of new outlets have sprung up online, in the press, and in academia to “warn” us how dire the future could become. These folks are telling us to focus on how to survive, but why not think about thriving? To put it in old-school terms: take all those lemons, make a big pitcher of lemonade and get out there on the sidewalk. Build a sturdy lemonade stand, paint a catchy slogan on a signboard and provide a tasty beverage to the thirsty masses.

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily”.  Zig Ziglar

© 2009 – 2011, Written by Keren Peters-Atkinson, CMO, Madison Commercial Real Estate Services. All rights reserved.

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