Boardrooms and conference rooms across the globe have pretty much frozen up in the wake of economic uncertainty and what feels like the “new world” or decreased consumer spending, low interest rates, and growing unemployment rates.

Individuals and companies alike are playing by rules they haven’t seen in years.  The “new” economy of the late 1990’s wasn’t so new after all.  And the “old” business maxims have not withered and died.  Companies must stop the hemorrhaging, sure, but those who will find a way to thrive despite the economy will be those that make prudent investments now.  Invest in the business by developing and expanding markets.  Increase your marketing.  As competitors trim budgets, advertising dollars go that much further and fill an even larger void.

Invest in your customers for a variety of reasons:

  1. It is easier (i.e. cheaper) to sell to your existing customers than acquire new ones.
  2. Your customers are already invested in your success.
  3. Your products should be providing value to your customers.  Are they?  If the products don’t provide value, what can you do to make that change?
  4. Valued customers tell prospects of your greatness and thus remain one of your most trusted marketing/reference assets.

We had a saying in the Navy that seems particularly appropriate now.  “Sins of omission are greater than sins of commission.”  Or to quote Alfred Lord Tennyson, “Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”  Same ideas really.  Take risks, make decisions.  David Silverman echoes these thoughts in a recent post on moving through fear.  You can remain frozen by inaction, or you can seize the day.

The pivot point is that these are Darwinian times when the best and boldest survive and the outdated become extinct.  After all, you shouldn’t count on global warming keep your company from freezing in place… look what it did to the dinosaurs!

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