5 Reasons A Shaky Economy Is The Perfect Setting To Grow Your Business

You cannot cut your way to growth, although many have tried. In spite of--or even because of--the wobbly economy, there has never been a better time to take advantage of the talent and business opportunities that are available.

Every day that goes by is an opportunity lost. Here are five reasons why now is the time to move forward to grow your business.

1.Availability of Talent – There is a great supply of talent available for the taking. This is the perfect time to trade “B players” for those “A players” that can help you navigate through this storm. If you wait until signs of a recovery are on the horizon, you might miss your chance.

2.An Opportunity For Building Employee Trust – Trust has taken a huge hit in this economy as employers have slashed their workforces. It will take years to rebuild trust and employee engagement. Start today, so that you can begin to establish a workplace based on respect and commitment to a shared vision.

3.Great Customer Service is Rare – People still remember the customer service they received 10 years ago, especially if it was poor. In today’s economic climate, they are also sharing tales when they have had an exceptional customer service experience, most likely because it is a rare event. Which side of the coin do you want to be on? This is the time to invest in training and development, especially for those people who have direct contact with your customers. No ifs, ands or buts! You want your company to be remembered, but for the right reasons.

4.There's Time To Prepare – You know how long it takes to find quality people and to assimilate them into the organization. Now imagine how much longer it will take if you don’t have a plan ready to go when you get the green light to hire again. This is the perfect time to work on your workforce strategy. Specifically, creating your employment brand, improving your people processes, including performance management, and putting together an on- boarding program to reduce the amount of time it takes for new hires to become productive. And while you are at it, don’t forget to work on your leadership training program to ensure newly minted managers know exactly what they need to do to get the results that you expect.

5.You'll Be Acting Against The Trend – Make that acquisition. Your employees will thank you as most are looking to grow their skill set. They’ll also be happy to see that you are growing your business, rather than cutting back. Bring in the outside help you need to ensure a smooth transition. When you look back 10 years from now, you’ll be glad you did.

You cannot cut your way to growth, although many have tried. There has never been a better time to take advantage of the talent and business opportunities that are available. Blink and you may have waited too long.

Roberta Chinsky Matuson is the President of Matuson Consulting (Suddenly in Charge: Managing Up, Managing Down, Succeeding All Around, a Washington Post Top-5 Leadership pick. Sign up to receive a complimentary subscription to Roberta's monthly newsletter, Talent Maximizer.

[Image: Flickr user Pulpolux !!!]

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