Sell More, Spend Less…What ELSE Should We Be Doing During the Downturn?

    Everyday more blogs and articles are popping up selling bullet points for the 3-5 things you should be doing to get your company through the recession.Experts are offering strategies, tips, or bare bones 3 things to get you out of this economic mess alive.We all read them.One or two of them sneak past your filter and you find yourself hoping to find something you aren’t already doing, some secret trick that might give you a leg up.

    Well, chances are if you’re looking for creative ways to spend less and sell more in blogs on your Google reader, you’re probably already doing most of the suggestions out there.We are all cutting corners and streamlining, but there’s a limit to how much you can squeeze out of or into your budget.

    The recession, downturn, whatever buzz word you prefer, will not last forever.In a few years or so we’ll be out there looking for new cars and homes, or at least new phone systems soon.The most important thing right now is to prepare for the inevitable upswing by working on internal development.

    Believe it or not, this activity in preparation will have immediate bottom line benefits.There’s no getting around the fact that hard work is the best solution for most problems.If you’re in a position of leadership, work at educating the people that work for you to help them get better at what they do.

    Calling all executive officers!After years in your business you are the best qualified to judge the knowledge most relevant to doing what do better.The skills and techniques, any and all wisdom historically passed on informally on the job can be made formal, with the potential for  explosive results.Through the experience and expertise staff already has you can implement a formalized learning program for your company.

    I must interject that to undertake something like this, you need to believe in what you do for a living.You have to believe deep down that your product or service is superior, special and unique.When you feel that way, it feels natural to share it with the world.I’m one of those lucky individuals who feels that way, working for M5 Networks selling the most powerful business VoIP phone system out there.We design our own software, offer unparalleled support and deliver VoIP as a service to our almost 1000 clients.But, I digress…

    Especially if you expect growth, you need to plan for your company to scale.Formalize your processes so you can control growth and avoid breakdowns.That said, success isn’t achieved as a top-down process and the entire learning process cannot be dictated by specific individuals. Informal learning is natural and healthy and must be done at the individual level.

    Formal learning should be about education, and encourage employees to never stop learning; to always be hungry for more, curious and ambitious. Whether it be in a formal setting, dealing with a customer request, or just having lunch with a co-worker, you can nurture and improve the individual's natural desire to learn. Individuals proactive about learning will utilize…wait for it… low-cost and existing resources (such as Google and wiki, and other co-workers), you will save money training them and make these employees more valuable.

    Any and all comments are welcome, please join in.Participation is a key ingredient here!!

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