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4 Ways To Make Your Business A Contender In A Tough Economy

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4 Ways To Make Your Business A Contender In A Tough Economy

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4 Ways To Make Your Business A Contender In A Tough Economy
4 Ways To Make Your Business A Contender In A Tough Economy

Brent Scrimshaw, CEO of Enro Group .

You've probably heard the Billy Ocean quote from the 80s. With 30 years of leadership at leading global brands such as Enero, Nike, Kathmandu and Rip Curl, I can confidently say that tough times make tough people, and in my experience, that goes for business too.

While the natural response to market downturns and macroeconomic volatility is for executives to retire and save up, turbulent times present opportunities for companies to expand their services, outpace their competitors, and emerge as an industry leader once the dust settles. .

Easier said than done, right? Here are four strategies that have served me well throughout my career during times of global and economic uncertainty.

1. Focus on the things you can control

I can't stress this enough. we have no control over things like interest rates, inflation and the cost of living, so why waste energy and resources worrying about them? As a leader, you control how your organization responds to economic uncertainty, especially how you use it as an anchor for your business.

I joined Enero in 2020 when the pandemic started. I quickly began implementing a focused program to maximize our agency's unique competitive advantages by leveraging the ambitious skills gaps we could fill. Maintaining efficiency and effectiveness in times of crisis, when you focus on what sets your business apart, you not only keep your business in order, but you have the ability to move forward in the process.

Don't be fooled, you may still have tough decisions to make, but you can move quickly to meet your customers' needs as the market changes. The ability to play the long run by making smart short-term adjustments is the fine line that separates big companies from those that can easily buy windfall industry gains. Big companies know their identity well and use it not only to deal with chaos, but also to stand out from the crowd.

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2. Edit for emphasis

Mark Parker, former CEO and current CEO of Nike, had a well-worn and famous line when I was at the company. "Edit to highlight". it had to constantly adapt, because no matter how big you are, you will always find more options than resources. . I think that's equally true of a $50 billion company. No matter how much wealth you have, it's not enough.

So if you can get down to the basics of your business and identify those unique characteristics, you can easily highlight what sets your business apart from the competition. Finally, if you can't or don't want to carry anything other than dishes, you can compete on price, which is usually a race to the bottom. Marketing communications are easily ignored, especially in crowded markets. There is always someone trying to lower your profits.

The principles that guided Nike are the same that guide Enero's portfolio today; innovation and creativity driven by a uniquely talented workforce dedicated to expansion and delivery of unique core services.

3. Choose long-term sustainability over short-term relief

In response to economic uncertainty, efficiency is the name of the game. This is why we see many global giants struggling in times like these. They may have the resources and the trail for tough times, but their massive infrastructure means short-term fixes are more of a line cut, hurting their budgets and staff.

I like to promote "freedom in the frame": the ability to respond quickly to market demands, scale up or down, and shift your workforce as needed, but never at the expense of your medium- or long-term strategy. It is essential to continuously invest capital in the macro objectives and long-term DNA of your company.

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Remember, efficiency isn't just about cutting costs in the face of uncertainty, anyone can do it. It's about understanding the levels of customization needed to not only meet customer needs, but also to proactively anticipate the future and deliver solutions you may not have considered to better serve your business. Bottom line: If you have a clear vision and can stay on a strategic path, the economic ups and downs should be rolling hills, not dramatic peaks and valleys.

4. Understand that doing nothing is not a strategy

Indecision in the market for any longer time can mean the end of any business. It can be tempting to bury your head in the sand and wait out the storm, but this approach comes at the cost of lost opportunities lurking in your mind. When others are in a state of conservatism or paralysis, be bold in your stance and decisions, and be willing to face conflicting outside opinions to realize your vision, position, and principles.

trust your gut While data-driven predictions and predictions are incredibly important leadership tools, I'm a big fan of making decisions based on common sense. You cannot fall prey to overthinking in times of great complexity and complexity. When you listen to your gut, your customers, and industry experts, you often get the right results.

Uncertain economic times do no leader any good, especially when the CEO, investor or shareholder keeps their feet on the fire. Allow yourself to make small mistakes knowing that not all decisions lead to El Dorado. Have the confidence to admit mistakes, the wisdom to avoid them again, and the tenacity to rise above the noise.

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Remember, what makes you successful in good times becomes even better in bad times. Sticking to your unique values ​​and believing them for what they are makes you more likely to shine amid chaos.


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