Relying on an unpredictable external factor, such as the economy, when growing a business is likely not the most efficient way to go about it. In marketing, this is referred to as “if-then thinking.” This kind of thinking implies that “if the rest of the world did what I want it to do, then everything will be great.”
Some examples of if-then thinking includes:
1) If I could just find two more really great sales people then all of my sales challenges would disappear.
2) If the economy would just turn around my customers would buy more from me.
3) If my competitors would just stop giving me so much grief, I could make more profits.
4) If the younger generation just wanted to work harder, I could hire more of them.
This rarely results in meaningful long-term success.
The solution to this problem is to build a business that can thrive no matter what external circumstances arise. This means addressing the things that you can control and forgoing worrying about what can’t be changed.
For example, when it comes to sales, the best course of action is to prepare for attrition and focus on finding the right hires.
Regarding the economy, instead of preoccupying ourselves with it, we should concentrate on what our customers need.
When dealing with competitors, focus on ways to differentiate yourself from them.
Finally, to find the best young and energetic people to work for you, you need to be actively looking for them. The people that my successful clients have found have come through active searching.
Ultimately, the economy is unlikely to be the primary problem – or solution – for running a successful business. Instead, it’s about creating an environment that will succeed under any conditions.