Published November 26, 2016 | Updated June 24, 2020
In an environment where negativity rules and the only certainty is uncertainty, we wonder: are new opportunities for your business attainable? If they are, what tools can help you take advantage of them?
The Long-Term Failure of “More With Less”
Not that long ago, things were a mess. The Great Recession was hard on most. The negativity of that environment left companies feeling forced into doing more with less, “rightsizing,” and generally searching for an equilibrium point near the lowest common denominator of making just enough and making it at all. Today we face a set of new challenges proving there will always be uncertainty. There will always be a reason or twelve to pull you back from bidding on that larger deal or expanding with a new product or service. Somehow the “more with less” efficiency models of our new normal have been rationalized to equate to responsible business operation. One problem, though: no great business story ever told aligns with the “more with less” strategy.
Create a New Pathway to Move Forward
Regardless of what changes on the playing field, the great businesses find a way to move ahead. The financial crisis forced many of these companies to make hard decisions. Still, the greats reimagined their businesses and quickly positioned themselves for the new way forward. This involves being aware and realistic about what’s going on around you but always keeping an eye on the horizon by defining new possibilities and planning for their achievement. In an environment where many avoided all risk, the greats were actively planning to take on risk and try new things. As renowned economist Paul Pilzer said, “Prosperity belongs to those who embrace the new things the fastest.”
Take Advantage of a Few Tools
Quit waiting for something great to happen and start to make it happen. Identify where new opportunities are emerging and start talking to people about making them a reality. The best tool of all is sharing your new vision. Craft a short narrative of about the new opportunity and how you see it happening – even if it is a little out of reach today. Put together a simple plan; it doesn’t have to be rocket science. Start evangelizing. Get your employees, advisors, and even your lenders excited about finding a way to help. And if they are not excited, find new ones.
Consider using other people’s money. Seizing new opportunities requires money almost every time. Your own money is generally the highest risk and most expensive form of business investment even compared to the highest lender interest rates. Financing is as powerful a tool to create new opportunities for your enterprise now as it always was. Share your story with your lenders and be unafraid. Every “no” is a step toward eventual success. Great lenders will offer a path forward even if they have to say “no” today.
Our goal at LEAF is to help your business adapt to current market conditions. Putting more revenue-producing equipment in service is a great way to fulfill your vision. Tell a great prosperity story. We can help you be the star of it.