I was at an American Marketing Association lunch about a month ago and was talking to Gus Rojas the proprietor of the Riverwalk Banquet Center. I think the recession is over he told me. In this day of talking heads constantly preaching doom and gloom this was great news, especially coming for someone in the hospitality field. I asked “How do you know Gus?” He then told me that bookings for Christmas parties at his establishment were up considerably from last year. Additionally the amount of money that people were spending on alcohol was also way up. People were partying. They were happy. The economy is getting better.
I was meeting with a client recently. He told me the phone was ringing off the hook and orders were flying in. Venture capitalists were calling wanting to invest in his company. Something is changing. The economy is getting better.
I had a meeting with a potential customer yesterday. His company was considering making a major investment in a computer system to handle demand that is substantially higher than a year ago. The economy is getting better.
I was in a meeting last week where an expert in customer loyalty research gave a talk. He said on average 54% of your customers would buy from someone else if a better alternative existed. He also said that his company has found in their research that as soon as the economy improves about 50% of people currently working will be looking to make a job change.
What is the common thread? It is perfectly understandable to be cautious especially in this economy where business has been hammered. That said to the innovators will come the spoils. If you wait until all the indicators say we are in a recovery before you act you risk missing out on a considerable part of the recovery. It takes time to make investments in products, services and especially people. Your innovative competitors that are taking controlled risks now and making the investments to position themselves for the future will lead the market. They will attract the best talent, develop the best products and create the momentum to grow.
FACT – 50% of your customers are at risk of leaving and 50% of your employees are looking to make a job change.
Don’t miss out. Don’t wait for favorable government indicators or for your competitors to make a move.
Find out the real story and then ACT
Find out what is going on in your industry. Call or visit your customers. How are they doing? Is business improving? What is keeping them up at night? What can you do for them to provide value? If you can meet their needs how much additional business can you expect? What are ways to leverage these new products and services to others?
Now pull out that plan you have had on the back burner for past year, spruce it up and implement it. There are very few certainties in life but I think now is the time to take a chance. The successful will satisfy and grow their customer base. Their employees will respond by helping them innovate and by attracting other innovators (from other companies) that want to work with them.
The time to invest is NOW!! You’ll be glad you did.
Until next time – All the best!