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More & Less Ahead

Despite the present economic situation some people have decided to come out ahead when this downturn turns up.

The president of a business to business food service company explained her simple strategy. She called it her One More and One Less plan for 2009. She explained One More to her sales force, “In 2008 we averaged 3-4 item orders on each call to each customer. In 2009 we will most likely get only 2 orders from that same customer. So when you get your next two orders I want you to immediately ask the customer for one more introduction to one more person who might enjoy our product. Then get one small sale from that new customer.” She emphasized small so to remind the eager sales folks that the goal is one more customer for the future, not a one big sale today. She expects company profits to be flat this year, but has a vision to come out ahead by owning a larger portion when the market rebounds. But that’s not all.

Sales never turn into present profits or future business without strong operations support to make sure the product or service is delivered on time, on budget and on quality to the customer. The president requested a revamp to improve processes- a one less strategy to simplifying systems and speed up service. “One less step, one less report, one less procedure, one less hand written form, one less redundancy that will directly improve customer satisfaction.” This lady knows that a business strategy needs to be balanced to be successful. But that’s not all.

Since extra time is required at work these days, it is vital for us to be more intentional about how we spend the limited time we have with the people who matter most. A balanced life strategy might be worth considering: one less TV show, one more story shared, one less couch potato evening, one more stroll in the twilight, one less cell phone call/text message at the dinner table, one more minute really listening about your day, one less long email, one more note with a stamp, one less rush out the door, one more long goodbye hug, one less minute complaining about what we don’t have, one more hour helping someone who is worse off than we are.

Working Journal Entry: Anyone can find success in good times, but to be successful in down times takes a better strategy and intentional execution. But that’s not all. What will you do more and less to come out ahead in leadership and life in 2009 ?

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