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Principles Still Apply

He asked me, “what will you do differently in ’09?” My answer was that the same principles we taught in the boom also apply during a bust, but more people may listen now as they consider their business plans for a new year.

As you face down the unknowns of the New Year consider these Six responses:

1. Build your team. Reinforce the values and beliefs of the company. Define or re-cast your vision for where you want to go. Build or revisit your plans for the coming 3-5 years so your people know you plan to be around and aren’t considering that the business will fail.

2. Develop your people. Provide learning opportunities that inform and build on their experience with solid foundational principles of how your business, and business in general functions.

3. Remove some of the mystery of business. Define your Unique Selling Proposition. Define your product and service offerings. Develop a marketing plan. Work on budgets together. Show people how the financial statement works.

4. Seek good advice. When you ask your people and customers what they think you will find out what they think. You will be able to inform and redirect them when they misunderstand. Get outside perspectives on your company. Get outside perspectives on your leadership of the company. Redefine your role as a leader.

5. Implement. All progress depends on action. When your people see that you mean it when you make plans they will become more engaged and bought-in to them.

6. Check your progress and direction. Are things going as you planned and where you planned? Do some decisions need to be made again?

These are the same six responses you should have during every business year. Good times come and go according to your ability to develop people and plans and to implement them. It’s as simple as that. The economy and business world will make room for better people with better plans.

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