On Opportunity & Adversity

There is a fair bit of “doom and gloom” out there in the economy at the moment – and I can understand why.

Every day you read the paper or listen to/watch the news and there are stories about businesses closing and the stress that family budgets are under.  There is very little good news out there (that gets reported anyway!) for us to reset our focus onto when things look this grim.

I must admit, the ecconomy is not looking that great at the moment and the new imposts that will be introduced later this year will only serve to increase the financial burden on a lot of businesses and households.  The carbon tax in particular is going to have a significant impact on a wide range of businesses and the level of this impact is yet to be fully understood.

However, I must admit that, being the eternal optimist, it is times like these that create massive opportunities for those businesses and people that look to take advantage of the situation.  Many businesses will be looking at ways to cut costs and reduce their expenses – they won’t replace staff that leave, they’ll reduce their advertising, they’ll look to find cheaper suppliers for the things they do need and they will generally contract to try and protect themselves.

Whilst this may initially seem an attractive option, let’s think it through a bit further (not an exhaustive list):

  • where everyone else is contracting, a business that maintains its service levels will actually improve in comparison to their competition;
  • by being positive about the opportunities, you will attract other people and businesses that are like you and will help you achieve your goals/plans;
  • supporting your existing suppliers through times like this will build incredible loyalty (especially when you let them know that you’re doing it – don’t assume they know) that will be of great value to both of you down the track; and
  • the possibility for opening up new market opportunities created by the contraction/exit of other suppliers can be very profitable to leverage in to areas that were previously a bit difficult to get in to.

Having been through a few economic cycles now, it is really amazing to reflect on those businesses that took the opportunity created by adverse economic conditions to grow their operations.  I’ve seen it so often and the approach (with proper planning and implementation) can yield substantially improved business performance along with increased wealth and satisfaction for the owners of the business.

It all depends on your viewpoint – is the glass half full or half empty?  Is it a time of adversity or is it a time of great opportunity (in camouflage?)….

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