The results of a business survey published in the October issue of CFO Magazine do not paint a bullish forecast for the economy and especially for employment. In fact, these findings show CEO optimism declining to levels nearly on par with those seen at the depth of the recession. Hiring plans for survey respondents indicated only a 0.7% increase in the hiring of domestic full-time employees in the next twelve months. While the results seem to point to more economic uncertainty, there are still opportunities for business growth. The key to converting these opportunities is the business leader’s willingness to challenge all aspects of the company and the markets in which the business operates.
Successful business leaders understand that growth for growth’s sake is a fool’s game. Instead they ask, “What will add greatest value to both our company and our customers?” The important catalyst for creating this motivation is the ability to confront the brutal facts about the business. For some it has been the recognition that they haven’t been getting the profits or value they desire because of the limited size of their existing markets. They have identified that there won’t be any significant change unless they continue to grow and diversify.
There is also an increasing awareness that to achieve their desired growth, the focus of the owner needs to significantly increase in the areas of planning, marketing, management and human resources. Owners are now delegating much of their resources to operational and customer service roles.
Now more than ever, it’s important for businesses to look outside traditional boundaries and examine the marketplace in a broader context. Customers are looking for businesses that differentiate themselves from competitors and adjust their policies and processes to meet the demands of customers.
Are you confronting the brutal facts?