Recession – Opportunity not Tragedy

October 31st, 2011 // 8:37 pm @ eileenwebb

A few years ago, I asked Daddy a question: “I know there were recessions when I was growing up, but I don’t remember them affecting us. Why not?”

He sold welding supplies for most of his life and his answer was both simple and wise: “When times were good, I sold to people who were making things; when times were tough, I sold to people who were repairing things.”

He didn’t complain about the bad times. It wouldn’t have occurred to him to blame someone else or go to a government demonstration to insist that the government fix the problem. Instead he focused on business basics: understand your customers, create a competitive advantage (he didn’t just sell welding supplies, he used his welding expertise to help his customers solve their problems) and adapt to change.

Globalization is real and it’s not going away. I’ve lived in Nevada about 10 years and all of my first three Nevada employers have closed their Nevada operations. One went to New Zealand, another to Mexico and the third back east somewhere. Sounds like I’m the kiss of death for an operation, doesn’t it? However, this black cloud has a silver lining – I would never have started my business if I had continued to believe that working for someone else meant job security plus generous pay and benefits.

I help people improve productivity in their operations. A fair amount of my current business is with government and other operations where their budgets have been cut, but they still need to get the work done. Sort of like my father’s business with people who were repairing things. But businesses that are growing need productivity improvements too: to manage their costs, speed up service and delivery, expand capacity, and grow on a shoe string budget.

The businesses that are growing and doing well are those that have a real competitive advantage and sell nationally and internationally. I’m selling to them and putting together a business plan for niche offering that is directly targeted at needs in the global marketplace.

If you are thinking to yourself that there is no way to put a global spin on what I do, I challenge you to find a way. My father did the majority of his business within 20 miles and all of it within 100 miles. If he were still alive and working in the welding business, he would be selling to the people in global markets.

So each of us has a choice. We can whine and blame others or we can adapt to change and create a better world. I choose to adapt and take action. What do you choose?

Category : Blog

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