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Take a balanced approach to the next four years

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

The election has come and gone. President Barack Obama has been re-elected and, as a nation, we face challenging decisions in reducing the deficit while still investing in our shared future. For the leadership of any company, the basic principles that allow all companies to thrive remain the same.

Austerity measures will be put in place to reduce government spending and bring down the deficit. As a result, some businesses could experience a decline in existing revenue streams and will need to adjust course to stay viable. Other businesses, however, will experience higher revenues due to increased government spending in specific areas as we invest in our future.

Overall, the business environment likely will become more challenging due to a decreased availability of funds in both the public and private sectors. It’s important to remember, however, we still have an economy. While it might not be the strongest one we’ve ever enjoyed, it’s not the weakest either. Customers will continue to buy what they need and want from businesses that deliver the greatest value.

Over the course of the next four years, the importance of producing high-quality products and services, delivering exceptional customer service and building empowered teams in a progressive and supportive work environment will — as they always have — remain at the heart of business success. Business owners and their management teams that focus on these fundamentals will experience even more success in our recovering economy.

Cutting costs will only take a business so far in weathering the coming challenges. While there’s no doubt becoming increasingly financially efficient is wise in both strong and weak economic environments, cutting expenses alone won’t position a business for success.

Companies also must invest in their people, improve product development, enhance customer service, create strategic marketing initiatives and deepen their market penetration. Businesses that choose to become as fiscally responsible as possible while at the same time strategically targeting their investments in future prosperity will not only survive, but thrive.

A powerful example of how to lower costs while investing in the future would be to hire new talent through the implementation of a job benchmarking platform. Every year vast amounts of capital leak out of businesses as a result of high turnover, lack of engagement and low productivity within their work forces. The statistically accurate job benchmarking process positions companies to hire top talent — those individuals best suited to perform a given job at the highest level possible. When this is accomplished, precious resources are saved and retention improved. Productivity rises, and the future of the organization becomes brighter.

Another example would be to provide targeted training to all team members — including owners, senior leaders and managers — to close gaps among their behaviors, business acumen and identified skill sets. Delivering powerful trainings in these areas will position all team members to produce higher quality products and services and provide the exceptional customer service patrons must receive to keep doing business with their favorite companies.

Without a doubt, there wouldn’t be jobs if it weren’t for business owners. But there wouldn’t be production of goods and services if it weren’t for the team members who create and deliver them. And without customers to buy goods and services, there would be no businesses at all. Business owners, their team members and the customers they both serve are all intricately connected. The stronger a company’s team, the more satisfied customers will be. This is what allows businesses to become increasingly profitable.

Business leaders who control what they can — the smooth, efficient and effective operations of their operations — and don’t allow themselves to become distracted by political comings and goings will position their companies, teams, communities and country for increased happiness and success.

In the end, all businesses have the potential to contribute in profound ways to the continued greatness and prosperity of this nation. When business leaders put their people, customers and the quality of what they offer first, they create situations that allow everyone to win.

Marcus Straub owns Life is Great! Inc. in Grand Junction. His personalized coaching and consulting services help individuals, business owners, executives and companies build teams, organizations and lives that are filled with happiness and success. He is the winner of the 2011 International Coach of the Year Award, and is also the author of “Is It Fun Being You?.” He is available for free consultations regarding coaching, speaking and trainings. Reach Straub by phone at 208-3150, by e-mail at marcus@lifeisgreatcoaching.com or on the website at www.lifeisgreatcoaching.com.
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