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Business Times Column

by Marcus

Take A Balanced Approach To The Next Four Years

The election has come and gone. President Obama has been re-elected and, as a nation, we face challenging decisions in reducing the deficit while, still investing in our shared future. For the leadership of any company, the basic principles that allow all companies to thrive will remain the same.

Austerity measures will be put in place to reduce spending and bring down the deficit. As a result, some businesses may experience a decline in existing revenue streams from these reductions in government spending, and will need to adjust course in order to stay viable. Other businesses, however, will experience higher revenues due to increased government spending in specific areas as we invest in our future.

Overall, the business environment will likely become more challenging due to a decreased availability of funds in both the public and private sectors. It is important, however, to remember that we still have an economy. While it may not be the strongest one we have ever enjoyed, it is not the weakest either. Customers will continue to buy what they need and want from businesses that deliver the greatest value.

During the course of the next four years, the importance of producing high quality products and services, delivering exceptional customer service and building empowered teams in a progressive and supportive work environment will – as they always have – remain at the heart of business success. Business owners and their management teams, who choose to intensify their attention to these fundamentals, will experience even more success in our recovering economy.

Cutting costs will only take a business so far in weathering the coming challenges. While there is no doubt that becoming increasingly financially efficient is wise, both in solid and weak economic environments, cutting expenses alone will not position a business for success.

In order to succeed, companies must also invest in their people, improve product development, enhance customer service, create strategic marketing initiatives, and broaden their market penetration. Businesses that choose to become as fiscally responsible as possible, while at the same time, strategically targeting their investment in future prosperity will not only survive, they will thrive.

A powerful example of how to lower costs while investing in the future would be to hire new talent through the implementation of a Job Benchmarking platform. Every year vast amounts of capital leak out of businesses as a result of high turnover, lack of engagement and low productivity within its workforce. The statistically accurate Job Benchmarking process positions companies to hire top talent – those individuals’ best suited to perform any given job at the highest level possible. When this is accomplished precious resources are saved, retention is improved, productivity rises and the future of the organization becomes brighter.

Another example would be to provide targeted training to all team members, including owners, senior leaders and managers, in an effort to close the gaps between their behaviors, business acumen and identified skill sets. Delivering powerful trainings in these areas will position all team members to produce higher quality products and services and provide the exceptional customer service patrons need to receive in order to keep doing business with their favorite companies.

Without a doubt, there wouldn’t be jobs if it weren’t for business owners, but there also wouldn’t be production of goods and services if it weren’t for the team members who create and deliver them. Without customers to buy them, there would be no business at all. Business owners, their team members and the customers they both serve, are all intricately connected. The stronger a company’s team, the more satisfied customers will be. This is what allows businesses to become increasingly profitable.

Business leaders who control what they can –  the smooth, efficient and effective operations of their business – and who do not allow themselves to become distracted by the political comings and goings, will position their companies, teams, communities and their country for increased happiness and success.

In the end, all businesses have the potential to contribute, in profound ways, to the continued greatness and prosperity of this nation. When business leaders put their people, customers and the quality of what they offer first, they create situations that allow everyone to win.

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This article was written for and published in collaboration with The Business Times newspaper.

Access the article here.