History in the Making
When we witness catastrophic events unfold before us, our natural reaction can be to retreat, conserve, and wait. I certainly feel this. There is validity to this natural reaction. But as adults and leaders of our companies and industry, we know we must find productive and proactive ways to respond to events like the devastating COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic disruptions. Our businesses, communities, and families depend on it.
We’ve Been Here Before
What we also know is that throughout the industrial and post-industrial age, every major setback has turned around. Societies and economies have roared back stronger and more resilient than before. While it’s important to never minimize the toll major events can bring, and it’s critical that all of us study and learn from these events to avoid repeating them or to be better prepared for the next one, when we take a step back, even the darkest periods in modern history become blips in the economic story.
U.S. stock market history from 1950 – March, 2020.
Vertical gray shading indicates recessions.
Prepare Now (Dig the Well before you are Thirsty)
We need to consider where we will be when things turn around. It’s difficult to predict when that will be, but we have 100% control over what we do in the meantime. So rather than cross our fingers and hope for the best, I propose we take action now and set ourselves up for resilience and success.
Luck: What Happens When Preparation Meets Opportunity
This is a loose translation of something first century Roman philosopher Seneca said. For our purposes, we can say that while sometimes we’re benefactors of random circumstances, much of what appears to be luck is a result of being prepared to take advantage of opportunities when they come. Similarly, it’s being able to handle difficult circumstances when they arrive.
Many businesses failed during Great Recession of 2007-2009. Federal data shows over 170,000 small business in the United States closed their doors. In 2010 HBR reported over 17% of business in general had already “went bankrupt, were acquired, or became private.” But there were exceptions – some companies not only survived but expanded.
Companies that started slashing costs more aggressively than competitors had the LOWEST probability of pulling ahead once the economy turned around. On the flip side, only 26% of companies that invested aggressively did better than rivals.
What companies had the greatest probability of not only surviving, but pulling ahead of the market after recessions? The ones that found a balance between strategic cost saving measures in operational efficiency, and investments in the future.
What to Do? BlueRithm Say, Take Action!
• Look for new business opportunities both vertically and horizontally e.g. RCx, Retrofits, FM.
• Measure what you manage. Resolve to become ruthlessly focused and efficient.
• Look to where the ball will be not where it is now. Invest in the future, automate processes and increase marketing.
BlueRithm Can Help You Save Money
1. Start a 1-year subscription and receive an additional 3 months free of charge in addition to our standard discount for annual billing.
2. Send us your library of custom test forms and checklists and we will digitize them in BlueRithm so you will save money, be more automated, and efficient.
3. We will remain available with top-tier support to guide you through the on-boarding process and beyond as part of your subscription.
If there was ever a time to invest in adopting new business tools to streamline your company, it’s during market slowdowns, and that time is upon us. The economy WILL come back. How prepared you are for the new normal when it emerges will determine your success.
Stay safe everyone.
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