The bigger the party, the bigger the hangover.
My bank manager threw that wee gem of a saying into conversation the other day. We were talking about the general state of the economy and, as you do, solving the world's problems in the short time for small talk during our catch up.
But just think about it. It's true isn't it.
These days, for me personally, especially so but that's another story!
For years the economies driven by mining and resources had a pretty sweet time. The bubbles flowed, the toys were big and there was more ink and bling per square inch of epidermis in the likes of Mackay than almost any other locality on the face of the earth.
Such was the commitment to and adulation of big holes in and under the ground that we kinda let the rest of the economic levers cut and thrust as they felt the need. It was like the economic equivalent to letting the housework go by the wayside while you paddled like a madwoman at work. In many cases, we didn't even employ a cleaner!
And then. And. Then.
The black gold lost a bit of its lustre and down the masses fell. We consoled ourselves telling us it was the correction we had to have (remember the fun and frivolity of Paul Keating's recession we had to have?) and that now was the time to consolidate, recalibrate and take a long hard look at our businesses.
True, it was a necessary correction and if you're a subscriber to the principles of Newton's Law you'd recognise the equal and opposite therein.
But now, as we start to see those widely-lauded green shoots, we can look back and ask for possibly the thousandth time how did we not see it coming; or if we did, how were we so ill-prepared?
Surely if we can buy and sell investment properties, know how to manage businesses in good times and even balance a household budget to buy bling and expensive cheese and fancy Jet skis to do tricks on, we should have been smart enough to have seen this coming.
Party we did. And the hangover lingered like it would for a 40-something coming down after a month-long bender.
So the key, the critical question now: What have we learnt?
We cannot continue to keep looking west to build our fortunes. At least, it would seem, some of those lessons have been learned. And certainly, there are some wonderful initiatives hatching in and around the tourism, agri-business, small business and start-up spaces.
Everyone in business has a responsibility to check themselves; to assess where they are at, why they're there and what they are going to do about it.
We need to be asking is we are ready for things to get better? It's a fabulous question to be asking. in light of the past few years, but seriously, are you?
What new space can you operate in? What new opportunities are going to present or better still, what new opportunities are YOU going to create?
Planning is an easier said than done part of business success; we all know that. But if there is a time to be planning for a brighter future - of considering growth instead of contraction the time is now.
Enlist your team. Play to your strengths, recruit and partner-up to mitigate against the risks brought about by your weaknesses. Know your business. Know what makes you tick.
None of us have a crystal ball. But all of us can see writing on the wall if our eyes are open.
|Tags: Business Planning Professional Development Growth New Direction Fresh Start Business Column|