The biggest risk is not doing anything. By doing nothing you move from the driver’s seat to the passenger’s seat. Has it ever worked for you before?
Priority no. 1 should be the focus on growth. Not just survival. A fixing solution to a sinking ship will just delay the end. Are you willing to give up now?
History lessons are not a platform to a sound operation, especially not in this economy. Focus on the business, not just the bottom-line. Analysis of profit & loss statements and balance sheets will give a historical lesson but does little to understand the dynamics of the business.
Decisions have to be data driven. Whether you decide to adopt a certain strategy, or just change and enhance a product-line, do your homework. Get the facts. Envision and articulate the ultimate picture of where you want your company to be, and stick to it. Yes, you will have to deal with change and unexpected turns, but at least you would know where you are heading and be able to stir the business wheel in the right direction and get back on the highway.
Need an antidote for shrinking domestic markets? Consider international expansion. It’s a fact. International expansion offers unparalleled opportunity for growth, increased sales, diversified markets and increased profit. Companies should be globally aware, and not necessarily active. It may not be the right time for everyone, but knowing about what is happening in the global scene, who of your competitors is expanding into the US, and what your options are – is crucial.
Manage risk and embark on the opportunities. Remember what got you to run a company to begin with. Where is that entrepreneurial spirit?
Evaluate your team and your own set of skills while being cautious of confusing ego and personality with performance. As I said once to a client: this is not a date. If your employee is a high-performer, sometimes this is enough to make a decision, as long as it doesn’t get in the way of the team.
Look around you and understand what business you are in, who is your competition, what are your choices, what your reputation is and how you can better position you company in the market. Remember the basics of running a business.
Shareholders as stakeholders and investors are and should be looking for long term returns be it through increased share price or dividends.
CEO’s have the obligation to meet this expectation. Typically, however, CEO’s focus on short term results. Why? Because they are rewarded for short term results. Who hasn’t heard a report that XYZ Corp. quarterly results were 2 cents per share less than anticipated? The CEO’s bonus will reflect those results.