In these interesting times, it is a challenge to create budget projections. I am working on creating budgets for 2010. Based on the way 2009 has gone, it is any one’s guess what will happen in 2010. Yes, I see signs of recovery…or at least a bounce along the bottom in some areas. Yes consumers are continuing on with their lives. Businesses are also continuing with their trajectories.
But many of the rules have changed. Some are probably the same. If I were to put my business consultant hat on, I would give myself this advice: prepare to go left and right at the same time and run down the middle. Have a plan in place for how your business will react and re-form itself if things seem to improve or if an opportunity presents itself.
Have a plan in place for stripping your business to the core, in case you see the situation deteriorate, or in case you find you must head to the life boats and let the cruiser go down. Then on a day to day basis, keep doing the things you need to do to grow. Talk to clients. Look for incremental improvements in your performance. Develop your staff. Make sales calls. Work on your customer service initiatives. Then each week you can look at what you accomplished, take an assessment of the business climate and decide. Do you continue to go down the middle? Do you jump left? Do you jump right?