After a frigid economic winter, it looks as if the thaw has arrived. Newspaper headlines are sprouting words like recovery and improving. Our airwaves are blossoming with bright business news and rising indicators. We can feel that fresh breeze called optimism blowing around us.
Yes, for some, the warm weather may still be a little longer in coming, but overall our economy seems to be budding.
Still, it’s important that as your business improves, you do not leave the experience of the tough times behind. As Mr. Chesterton so eloquently recommends, you need to draw from what you’ve been through and use it to develop into a better, smarter business owner.
What have these last 12 to 18 months of economic decline taught you about your shop? What have they taught you about yourself and your management style?
The good news about bad times is that they often make us re-examine the way we are currently doing things. When business is going well, it’s easy to say why change?
Yet, to remain successful, a company must never become stagnant. It must continue to stretch, grow and improve. Assuming that the present way of doing things is the best way to do things is not good business.
Bad times give us all a wake-up call. They force us to take a closer look, to review every procedure, every system, every job and find ways to make things better.
Down times also give us the freedom to be more daring. The “what have I got to lose?” mentality often allows us to be more innovative, more original, more resourceful. And that is the stuff from which real improvement and progress is made.
As Robert Frost said, “The best way out is always through it.” Going “through it” can be a crash course in business management. It will give you insights and experiences that cannot be replicated in any book or seminar. It can make you wiser and your business more profitable.
But of course, in business as with any big storm, talking about how deep the snow was sure beats how it felt when you were franticly shoveling.
May you enjoy and profit from this change of season.