It may be 2009, but you should be thinking about 2010

As we battle through this recession, most of us are trying to do “more with less.” That’s typical. We’ve either been asked to make cuts or have done so ourselves (I know, I keep preaching about NOT to cut, but the reality is most everyone has had to make some changes). I do hope that when you have made those changes, you have done so strategically. Here’s the deal. If you’re still thinking in the here and now of 2009, you’re going to be lost in 2010. This is known as the “ostrich effect,” where you’re dealing and coping with today’s daily pressure and not thinking about tomorrow – or next year. To compound that sense of panic and pressure, in year’s past, you have probably used historical data and ROI to develop future strategic plans. You can throw that out the window to some degree, thanks to this economy as well. So what do you do? How do you stay competitive and on top of today’s needs, while planning for the future? First, you must be great at anticipating. Start thinking about what questions you’ll need to answer in order to create your 2010 plan. Then go find the answers to those questions. Use your resources. If you make assumptions about 2010 but don’t have information and facts to back up whether or not they’ll work, you won’t have buy-in from your customers and vendors. Ask your customers and vendors questions about how they perceive the future. Lead the planning process and take control of your business’ destiny.

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