So if you watch the news, the financial world is coming to an end and every company in the United States of America is going out of business, right? If we are to believe what the media is telling us, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet will survive and everyone else is going to starve to death, right? Wrong.
There are many companies which are expanding during this recent recession. You’re probably sitting there thinking that it’s only the companies that provide absolute, bottom line necessities that can grow in a “down economy”. Would you believe me if I told you that 3 of the companies which experienced significant growth during the recession were Redbox, Starbucks and Ralph Lauren (Polo)? That would be 100% true. Apple and Facebook were on the list as well. I can think of nothing less necessary than drinking a caramel macchiato while updating your status and location on your iPad. Oh, while wearing a Polo Shirt on your way to get a movie.
True, a lot of companies have died in the last few years. But is that a sign of the times? Or is it a sign of poor planning on their part? Take the case of Borders vs. Barnes and Noble. Borders is now a thing of the past. Barnes and Noble lives on. Borders refused to come into the 21st Century while Barnes and Noble gave us the Nook. Both offered very similar product lines, one stayed current with progress and continued to provide a product that people would pay for. Turning actual pages in an actual book? That’s soooo 1999.
No one ever plans to fail, but many may fail to plan.
I don’t dispute that things are not the same now as they were five or six years ago. It is definitely a time to work much smarter than any of us have seen in most of our lifetimes. But ask yourself this question: If every business ran their business from the point of view of doing what is right and will lead to the greatest expansion 100% of the time, would we have ever had this economic issue?
The businesses that endure and grow will be the ones that provide a service that people need or at least believe that they need. Redbox made it because they offer a significantly more cost effective alternative to taking your family to the movies. For $1.20 and maybe 4 bucks for a box of microwave popcorn, you can entertain the entire family.
Your business will succeed. You only need a few things. You need a product that people will pay you for. You need to price it competitively. You need to let people know about it and show them why they would benefit from it. You need to deliver it to them in a timely fashion once they have purchased it and ensure you’re giving them what they’ve bought, if not more. You need the right people to help you execute all of the above.
The right product and the right staff are everything to a business owner.
To quote a great leader and businessman:
“A lot of companies have chosen to downsize, and maybe that was the right thing for them. We chose a different path. Our belief was that if we kept putting great products in front of customers, they would continue to open their wallets.” – Steve Jobs