Recessions cause the economy to contract and make it more difficult for people to do business. What we are experiencing at this time cause people to respond in a similar manner, reacting to economic contraction with more contraction. While it may be a normal reaction to contract at this time it only guarantees that you will be smaller when this is all over.
These are the biggest mistakes individuals and companies can make at this time:
1) People become focused on the problem not the solution. You don't want to shy away from problems you want to identify them and solve them. The problems are the opportunities.
2) Respond with contraction by contracting. You will only get smaller by your actions not because of the economy. Now is the time to expand in amounts proportionate to what your industry has contracted.
3) Under-estimate the level of activity required. The amount of effort now required is and will be far greater in order to get things done so prepare and train your organization to take more action and be more persistent.
4) Lower Pricing. Dropping your price at this time is incorrect. Do the math; less volume at a lower price is suicide. Now is the time to train your people how to build value not lower price.
5) Depend on old strategies for handling new environment. Old strategies will not work in this new economy. It will be 'business-unusual' for some time to come.
6) Go into agreement with the masses. Watch what the masses of people are saying and doing and then do the opposite. The masses almost always do the 'wrong' thing.
7) Over-qualify clients. Treat every opportunity like a buyer at this time. With money and credit more difficult to get and sellers tend to over-qualify their client's ability to do business.
8) Surround yourself with others that are focused on problems. Media runs rampant with bad news during all times but especially at this moment and then friends, family and associates pass on bad news like the flu.
9) Being reasonable-This is not a time to be reasonable but unreasonable, to operate without logic concerning every action you take. If you try to make sense of things now you won't even want to show up for work. Let your competition be reasonable while you are not!
10) Lack of training -Now more than other times you and your people have to know how to operate, function and persist. Now is the time to train and prepare for the when the good times return. Just getting through this will require great attitudes, ridiculous persistence and better selling skills to successfully penetrate the marketplace. Training more than any other investment will put your people's attention on what they can do rather than what they can't do.
No matter what industry you are in now is the time to EXPAND not contract! Let others get lost in the bad news and elect to get smaller. Now is your moment to expand and grab market share by disagreeing with the responses of those you compete. Your competitors are weak and broken, most unprepared and unwilling to do what it takes to get the job done and most of them doing little more than complaining and responding to economic contraction by contracting. Train your people now to expand and conquer into the market by taking advantage of the mistakes your competitors are making.