A Consultant's View

Prairie Trail Software, Inc. ............................................................. June 2008

Profit in a slowing economy

In both sports and war, a successful action has both "offensive" and "defensive" parts. A football team has the line men to protect the quarterback (defensive) while the receivers run down field (offensive). Warriors know that they have to be able to mount an attack while protecting their flanks and those left at home. The same thing happens in business.

Whether or not we are officially in a recession, we can all see that the economy is slowing down. So, how do we make a profit in this situation? Every time we ask that question, we need to make sure that we ask both about the "offensive" part of making a profit as well as the "defensive" part.

The first thing is to make sure that we are doing the defensive actions - making sure that what we spend is being spent on the right things. We get sloppy when the times are good. People take time to play when the money is just rolling in. So, tightening up both spending and where we spend our time is the first step.

The next step is to look at the ways where we could lose a lot of money. During the 1930's, Bonnie and Clyde robbed banks all over the Midwest. Today, criminals are robbing your data. There is a report that organized crime is giving up drugs to go after data theft because there is more money in that. So, protect what you have with firewalls, encryption, and control over who is actually looking at your data.

Those are two "defensive" actions. We need strategic "offensive" actions also. During the 1930's, a lot of companies did well on the "defensive" actions yet went under. A few companies thrived during that time. They tried many different new ways of business or offered new designs to their customers. To thrive in hard times, creative and well designed products and services are required.

The main "offensive" action will be in changing what we offer to our clients and finding new clients. If you are not making plans to obsolete everything that you are currently offering, be aware that someone else is. Let's get the new products and services first and get that new business.

So, what are you doing both "defensively" and "offensively"? If you would like us to help you evaluate your company, give us a call.