Are you planning for inevitable changes in your business? What might those changes be? Too often we accept the status quo without strategically planning for what’s next, despite the rapid changes in our society. I own and operate a snow and Ice management company, a sister company to my green industry business, and we recently ran out of salt for our de-icing operations. In an effort to preserve cash flow we reduced our inventories too low and had to make spot purchases on the open market at a premium price. We preserved our level of service, but at a price. As we waited and waited for our usual supplier to come through, we were ultimately informed of the truth – they were supplying the needs of municipalities ahead of ours. We weren’t happy about this, but we understood.
My question is what situation will you find yourself if necessary materials that ensure your company’s profitable operations are abruptly taken away? These materials could be a valued commodity such as fuel or power. It could also be labor, both skilled and unskilled. Can you include customers in that mix? Absolutely – especially if you are treating your customers as a commodity. The more you fail to nurture your existing customer base, the more likely this valuable resource is going to be taken away by a competitor. It’s prudent to plan for change – but if you focus on your existing customer now, the effect of any changes will be much less significant.