If you are in crisis as a business, it forces you to become a creative thinker

When, as an owner, you run into a major crisis, it is sometimes exactly what you need. If your business is rolling along, the management can become complacent and stop thinking creatively as to how the business can be improved. A CEO of a $ billion company and a family friend who unfortunately passed away recently, was always wary when things were “goin’ too good”. He always wanted his team to be looking for new revenue streams and ways of better operating the business.

If you are in crisis as a business, it forces you become a creative thinker.  In my case, whenever one of my businesses starts to hit a bit of a lull, we turn up the creative juices and by doing so become a much better company. You can do this as well. Here is what I learned:

#1 Get Help!

Hire a business consultant or coach to help with things.  Having a fresh objective view at your side will make a huge difference. You want someone who will challenge you and your assumptions.

#2 Embrace Change

Stop trenching. Just because you had success doing things the “old” way, doesn’t mean that going forward that will work.  Change is paramount. You must embrace it every day. Change in policies. Change in procedures. Change in personnel. Change in technology. And most importantly, change in you. Your business can’t change until you change

#3 Listen

It is very important to shut out the noise and listen. Your people, the people who are in the trenches every day have a better feel for the marketplace than you ever will. Talk to them. Listen to them. They’ll tell you if you let them know that you really are interested and will act on their suggestions. Listen to your customers. How can you better serve them?

#4 New Ideas

There is no such thing as a “bad” idea. There are ideas that maybe are not pertinent to your situation today but may have relevance tomorrow. If you say “no” people will shut down and not share their true feelings. If you embrace new ideas, more and more will come.

#5 Take Responsibility

If you crawl into a corner and cower, you will fail. If you stand up and take responsibility for the state of your business today, you will more than likely be still in power when things turn around because of your undying efforts to change and improve the business.

#6 Keep Moving

Standing still will kill you and your business. I tell all my customers to “Hurry up and slow down”, but I never tell them to stop.