Watch out for unnecessary mistakes. There’s an irony of the current economic engine. While there is more business, margins are also getting thinner. That’s why IBM took its PCs out of retail venues and is selling them online.
Take a close look at your company. Are we sharp? Or, do we just think we are? When we sit around the conference table and talk about ourselves, we come away convinced that we are the best.
Keep mining for new customers! Good times can mask future problems. When there’s plenty of business, most companies take a vacation from identifying and cultivating future customers.
Focus on what customers are thinking! While there are plenty of dangerous words in business today, these should be close to the top of anyone’s list: "We know our customers." While every company wants to think it understands its customers, the assumption can be dangerous.
Look for the missing customer. Look for the niches others ignore and those that are misunderstood by others. It’s these markets that can offer opportunity. Just running with the crowd can mean running into trouble.
Cut to the core to grow. A company’s core products or services can seem boring. Just more of the same. It’s then that they begin to look for greener pastures.
Build the brand. If customers can’t identify quickly and accurately why they should do business with you, there’s trouble ahead.
Keep track of the trends. Our value to our company and our customers rests in helping them be prepared for the future. Yet, at a time of information inundation, what should be so easy, has become increasingly more difficult.
Be known for what you know! If doing business in the second half of the last century was about who you know, today it’s about what you know.
Foster excitement! Overcoming the obstacles and taking advantage of the opportunities will demand greater insight, understanding, and decision-making acumen.
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