Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Economy

All I am hearing anymore is how tough things are. When I talk to people about how business is, the normal answer begins with, "You know with the economy and the price of gas..." The amazing thing to me is that the next part of the sentence is typically that that person is doing well, it's just everyone else that seems to be not doing well.

I know there is suffering, but there is also still plenty of opportunity. I have to make sure I keep my perspective and also that I help everyone around me keep his or her perspective so we don't create a self fulfilling prophecy of doom and gloom.

Keep you head up and keep pushing forward.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Power Outage

Here in Central Ohio we have had quite a few people without power since Sunday. The remnants of Hurricane Ike came through and gave us a beating. As bad as it was, it was nothing compared to what Texas went through on Saturday.

At our company, we went about 48 hours without power. On the first day, we were optimistic that the power would come on at any time. We ended the day discouraged. On day two, we started looking for options to get customers work done using other printers in this region. This is never a good option, but it does take care of the customer, so we went down that road.

Before we left for the day yesterday, a great thing happened, the power came back on. It is surprising the joy you get when something like that happens. Every day I take electricity for granted and when I don't have it, there is no fun happening.

Today things are back to normal and we are getting caught up on the schedule. By next week we should be all caught up. What a great feeling to have electricity and all that comes with that power.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Strategic Planning

"He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life."
-- Muhammad Ali, World Heavyweight Boxing Champion

We are currently in the process of creating a strategic plan for our company. This is our first formal process we have used. In the past a few of us would talk about the future and then put a plan around the ideas and get going. This year we are using a professional facilitator and doing it right.

What we have found is when we broaden the circle of people involved in the process, there are more and better ideas. Eventually everyone in the company will have personal goals tied to the overall company goals and this will make a huge difference.

I am really looking forward to the next five years. We have some good stretch goals that will make a big difference in our future. In five years, I believe we will look back on this process as a defining point in our history.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Risking Pain

It seems that every day I hear someone blame the economy or the price of gas for his or her bad results. Without thinking about it, to look for someone or something to blame for poor sales is the easy way out.

Then I look at a salesperson that is doing well and I hear the same things. "I'm making more calls." "I'm setting up more appointments." "I'm reading a new book on sales." "I'm listening to a set of CD's on improving my mental outlook." These are the activities that the winners do on a regular basis.

Everyone has the opportunity to improve. It doesn't even cost money. Books and CD's are available at public libraries and almost every car has a CD player. With the slowdown we are experiencing, there may even be more opportunity. The excuse makers are sitting in the office waiting for the phones to ring. What the winner is doing is going out and making something happen. We owe it to ourselves to be part of the group that is called winners.