4th Quarter: Up By 1 or Down By 2?
As the calendar slips into September, and the days become a little shorter, we’re all reminded of a simple basic truth — Football season is back! However, as one season starts, another is winding down.
The fourth quarter of 2008 is almost upon us, and my question to you is this: What’s the score of your game? Are you leading? Are you behind? Are you tied?
Without a doubt, the first three quarters of 2008 have been fraught with challenges.
- An economy that has lost jobs for 8 straight months.
- 1 out of 10 homeowners in mortgage distress.
- Financial titans collapsing, shocking not only Wall Street, but also the world economy as a whole.
- Government bailouts are becoming the norm rather than the exception.
- A weakened dollar and skyrocketing fuel expenses.
- A service sector that has been bloodied by decreased disposable income and increased debt.
- An industrial sector hindered by tighter borrowing restrictions.
As we head into the fourth quarter, many a business will be impossibly behind, and feel as if they were blitzed too fast and furious to adjust. They’ll point to the bullets listed above, and countless others, as a way to rationalize the loss.
If you don’t take anything else from this article, just remember this:
If you use the economy as a means of justification for the struggles of your business, then you have dropped the ball, and have already given up the game.
There are opportunities in every market: opportunities to build your brand or create a brand, opportunities to acquire competitors, clients, and market-share, opportunities to re-organize the business structure, and create efficiencies, opportunities to leverage assets, and define weaknesses, and opportunities to build a talented team, and increase the depth chart.
Last month we discussed three critical components of your business:
Customer Service/Marketing/Technology & CRM.
Let’s talk about another critical component. As you get ready for the 4th quarter, regardless of the score, ask yourself the following questions. What kind of shape is your team in? Do you have the right players? Do you have the right system? Are they ready? Are they hungry? Are they a TEAM? The greatest coaches in the game knew that great players alone didn’t guarantee success. There needed to be more.
Vince Lombardi“Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”
“The secret is to work less as individuals and more as a team. As a coach, I play not my eleven best, but my best eleven.”
This is your time, right now. The 4th quarter is here and you need to define how you will finish this season, as well as establish the building blocks for next year.
And as you’re looking over your roster, maybe it’s time to consider adding Forward Progress to your team. If football emulates business, we’ll help you gain the tough yards, and score in the red-zone.
Rick Sherman is a senior level business advisor and coach for Forward Progress, Inc. and the President of New Essence Media, a marketing agency focused on developing strategies through “Intelligent Integration”. To contact: [email protected]