Surviving the Post Holiday Slump

 

Several years ago as a retailer I suffered through a severe economic downturn. For someone who loves to grow a business it was a hard time to work through and I sense many retailers, businesses and ministries may be sorting through the same feelings and realities today. Looking back, here's what helped me survive the downturn and keep my business above water:

Depression Man

Control what you can control and let go of what you cannot control. I know it's easier said than done, but I found that when I focused my energies on what I could actually control – things like my attitude, how I cared for my people and customers, my inventory and my store's appearance that I saw progress and I gained personal (and team) satisfaction. When I didn't, I spent my time in useless endeavors and my attitude and performance suffered.

Be a Leader. In hard times our people need us more than ever. They need to celebrate small victories and they need to hear us re-establish our vision, mission and continually help them see their purpose in the bigger picture. it's an opportunity to take advantage of time to invest significantly in your people. When things turn around, you'll have an even better staff. This people investment will also help them to curb fear and cynicism.

Be mindful of the basics. If you are a retailer make certain your in stock of your core inventory and don't disappoint the customers who are shopping. If you're in another business it's time to find (or return) your core competency and strive to do it better than anybody else. This economic time is the right time for you and your team to focus on blocking and tackling.

Look for innovation. There can be a positive side to this slump and crisis. The Chinese have embraced this concept for centuries. The symbol for their word "crisis" – called wei-ji – is actually a combination of two words, "danger" and "opportunity." While I'm not saying that this time might not be perilous, it is also a time to not give up on being innovative and creating achievement out of adversity, inspiration out of gloom and opportunity out of danger.

We've made it through several slumps during my lifetime. We'll make it through this one. I've found by focusing on these ideas that my business came out of the slump ready for the next phase.

How do you fight the slump?

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2 Responses to “Surviving the Post Holiday Slump”

  1. Good words indeed. Thanks for the encouragement Wayne!

  2. Noelle Mena says:

    This was such a good Word for me. Actually for me and also will be for my hubby, whom I am emailing this to. We have had our company for almost 20 years, very successful. We are very close to filing bankruptcy for the company. Has been very hard on him. I have been saying just what you said-
    Control what you can control and let go of what you cannot control.
    Is awesome to know who is really in control! I needed these words too, as my ministry has grown in the midst of all our personal challenges. I am so glad one of my writers wrote about you this past week & I got to find your blog. What a blessing!
    Blessings to you,
    Noelle
    @TakeRoot
    http://twitter.com/TakeRoot

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Trust is the winsome wedding of faith and hope.

Brennan Manning

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