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Tough Market Conditions Present Opportunities to Build Infrastructure

Feb 23, 2009

As a former [read as: reformed] banker, I find that a majority of my friends are either bankers, portfolio managers, or business service providers.  Perhaps that is because of the propensity to see these same individuals at the golf courses and other "social networking" venues I still frequent.  Whatever the case, my current responsibilities as a business counselor and legal specialist with WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz makes for a synergistic partnership with these colleagues.


So on the frequent occasions I have to visit with these "finger-on-the-pulse-of-the-economy" friends of mine, I always ask them, "What should I be telling my business clients to do in this economy"?  The resounding response is: "Grow!"


Now, "Grow!" can mean a lot of different things to different people.  Perhaps my commercial lending compadres are suggesting the time is ripe for a huge expansion loan...but I doubt it.  Maybe my investment friends are suggesting I tell you to go diversify your portfolio...but they always say that, so I doubt these tough economic times warrant any special treatment.  No, I think what "those in the know" are suggesting is that this is a good time to invest in your business.


Investing in your business can also mean many things, but to me that means working on your infrastructure.  We all know that infrastructure is just a big word that means "the nuts and bolts" of your company.  That new record keeping software, that piece of equipment that needs refurbished/replaced, the certification you have put off, even resurfacing the parking lot or a new coat of paint on the office walls...they are all infrastructure.


When business is good you are too dang busy to worry about those small details.  How many times during "peak sales" did you say to yourself, "Ah, I need to take care of {insert problem area here}."  But you never did because you were too busy making money to find time to spend it...I mean, reinvest it in your company.  With the economic slowdown, the slow sales, and the fear of just covering the bills comes a temptation to withdraw and save every penny.  Problem with that is, we KNOW [emphasis added] that things will rebound.  Already $1.5 trillion has been earmarked for something called "economic stimulus" nationwide.  Whatever that really means, it means there will be a lot of money that needs to be spent.  When the "good" times come back, will your business be poised to capitalize?  Or will you be woefully unprepared?


One final thought...if you think that you have your business as prepared for the rebound as it can possibly be - and you have employees - then consider investing in your greatest asset: your staff.  Employee training [training = training, certifications, continuing education, licensing, skills assessment, skills improvement, etc., etc., etc.] is a fairly low-cost, high-return, and easy investment in the people who make your business run.  If you are unsure what training your people need, or how to find the training you know they need, contact your local WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz office for a no-cost consultation to point you in the right direction.


Whether it be in the equipment, the real estate, the business plan, or the investment in your business today [when things are slow and manageable] will lead to rewards when the inevitable bounce-back arrives.

Jeremy Wilch

Category: Economic Gardening

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