A few days ago, somebody on Facebook asked me to join the “I am not going to participate in the RECESSION” Facebook group. I understand their intent, but I think that’s just plain dumb.
I am not going to participate in the “I am not going to participate in the RECESSION” group.
Why? Because sticking your head in the sand means you’ll miss some wonderful opportunities.
For example, I recently read Warren Buffett, the world’s most successful investor, offer his opinion on investing in the current stock market:
“I’m going to be buying investments for the rest of my life, and I like paying half of X more than paying X. It just makes sense that when things are on sale, you should be happy to buy … Any chance we have to do something that makes sense, we do it.”
(Quoted in Robert Brokamp’s article “Three lessons from Warren Buffett”)
Now, I’m certainly not qualified to offer financial advice, so I’m not making any comment about this in terms of your money.
But I reckon the advice “When things are on sale, you should be happy to buy” applies in other areas of your business and life as well – especially right now.
So what’s “on sale” right now?
In other words, what things are currently available at a bargain price? Here are some examples …
- Your time: If you’re going through a quiet time, take advantage of the opportunity for investing in learning, developing IP, networking, setting your goals, and doing all those other things that somehow never get done when you’re busy.
- Your attention: It’s not only about time, is it? It’s just as much about focus, attention and concentration. So, for the same reason, now is the perfect time to do that course, join that on-line community, upgrade your IT systems or train your PA to do something they really should be doing even now.
- Hard-to-get clients: Who are the “blue chip” clients you’ve always considered out of reach in the past? This might be the perfect time to approach them again, because they’re examining every dollar that leaves their business.
- Stitched-up contracts: For the same reason, if you’ve been excluded in the past because of long-term arrangements with another supplier, ask about them again. The supplier might no longer be around or the scope of the work might have changed.
- Your professional network: Colleagues might also have time and attention available. Put your heads together and find creative options that work for you all.
- Old faces in new places: If a key decision maker who was on your side has just lost their job, you might lose a contract. But who knows where she will turn up in her next job?
- Great staff: As others are culling their workforce, is now a good time to pick up a brilliant PA, office manager, salesperson, marketing assistant or receptionist?
What’s NOT on sale right now?
Of course, it’s just as important to know what things have suddenly gone up in price … such as …
- Your clients’ attention: If they’re struggling to cope and you’re not part of the immediate solution, then you really are part of the problem.
- Decisions: Organisations in flux will dither. Long sales cycles can be even longer. This is nothing personal; it might be just that the decision makers really can’t make a commitment 30 days in advance.
- Discretionary income: Good luck getting people to public seminars! I’m not saying it can’t be done; I’m just saying it seems to be more difficult than ever before.
- Investment in learning: Sure, the organisations that invest in their learning and development now will fare the best come the end of the storm. But some organisations are struggling to just get through the storm, let alone plan for the future.
This is just to get you started …
These lists aren’t complete. And some of the things might not even apply to you.
That’s not the point.
I’m just asking you to question your assumptions, try new things and experiment with different options. There’s never been a better or more important time to be flexible, creative and nimble.