Take Action when Others are Fearful

Is now the time to grab the initiative and invest in expansion, increase capital expenditure, make fresh hirings and go after acquisitions?

We simply attempt to be fearful when others are greedy and to be greedy only when others are fearful.” is the mantra of investment guru Warren Buffett and now we seem to be heading towards a time when others are fearful.

According to a Chief Financial Officers survey by Deloitte uncertainty and negative sentiment are having a “corrosive effect on risk appetite and corporate expansion”, with companies, even well capitalised ones, adopting increasingly defensive strategies, reducing debt levels, selling assets and bolstering cashflow.

As a business strategist and What If Forum chair I’m a firm believer in Warren Buffett’s advice; however you don’t have to make big throws of the dice, you can just ramp up your game and reap big rewards. Here are three things you can do:

Increase Sales and Marketing Investment

Make sure you have a louder “share of voice” and get in front of existing and potential customers as much as you can. Invest in upgrading the sales and negotiation skills of your salespeople so they can secure the maximum value out of every sales contact.

Push For More 90 Day Projects

Experience as a business strategist has taught me that most innovation and development projects produce the best results within the first 90 days. While the product or service may be only eighty or ninety percent complete it should be sufficiently ready to test market with selected customers or potential targets. The feedback you get is invaluable, you’ll know whether it is worth investing more time and money in the project or if it should be canned and your efforts put behind another potential winner.

Upgrade Your Bench Strength

What’s got you here won’t necessarily get you there” and that’s true of your people. Warren Buffett’s advice is “It’s better to hang out with people better than you. Pick out associates whose behaviour is better than yours and you’ll drift in that direction.” Now is the time to go out and find those better people who will make the future happen for you. Also think about joining a peer group forum for yourself because Buffett’s advice applies at all levels of the business.

What are you going to do to increase your success while others are fearful?

Leave a comment below, or e-mail me via richard.bosworth@whatifspecialist.com, go to @richardwhatif on Twitter, Richard Bosworth on LinkedIn or post on www.whatifforums.com.

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