It is the
beginning of a new year, and I would like to go BACK to BASICS.
A good coach of
any professional team sport will tell you that no matter how good the
individual players might be, "You must be a TEAM to be a WINNER." Therefore,
the basics of team play are consistently repeated, repeated, and repeated!
Then it is up to the coach (in business it is the CEO) to modify the basics
in order to overcome the many challenges and to maintain a profitable,
forward moving business team. This takes strategy, unselfish effort,
leadership, inspiration, and accepting the responsibility of pulling all
parts of the team together.
The "I, We, You" Theory
is not the way to succeed as the coach of the team.
I = If everything is
going well, the coach takes 100% of the credit.
We = If the team is
performing above expectations but is not a winner, the coach says,
going to have to work harder.
You = If plans are not
being met and performance is below average, then the Coach says,
team, are the reason for lack of success.
Therefore, I think the
following article is right on course!
Recent headlines have
been daunting: safeguard quotas, the signing of CAFTA, the EU adding
restrictive tariffs on U.S. products, China floating its currency by a
"basket" method, oil prices rising at the pump, a housing price bubble, the
Iraq war, terrorist threats, outsourcing of jobs, etc. No, the "sky is not
falling"; that is another article. However, I think it is time to revisit
the basics of good solid business planning.
When was the last time you looked at your business plan?
Maybe I should ask the question, Do you have a formal
Has your executive structure changed?
Is the purpose of your mission statement intact?
Are your key business concepts still attainable?
Has your market analysis been updated for:
factors & personal characteristics?
What new Industry Analysis has been discussed lately?
Who is the new competition?
What degree of product change is required to maintain
viability in the marketplace?
When did you last review your Strengths, Weaknesses,
Opportunities and Threats?
Have you reviewed your marketing plan?
Have you revisited the buying behavior of customers and
Do you see the changes in the stages of the buying decision
Has your product life cycle concept changed?
Did you revisit the marketing mix, variables and strategy
necessary to show and sell product?
Will it be necessary to re-evaluate distribution channels and
Do you have an operational plan that includes an
organizational matrix of authority?
Does your management team cover the key elements of marketing
and sales, operations, research and development, engineering, financial
management, general management and administration, personnel management, and
legal, tax and advisory services?
All of the above may seem mind boggling, but for you and your
business to Stay On Course in these difficult times, you
cover all of the above and a lot more!
We are now living in a constantly changing business climate,
and you who are responsible for corporate commitments and the bottom line,
must have all of the facts to eliminate as much risk as possible.
Whether you are in a local market, or into national or global
distribution, every world variable will have some affect on your business.
It will be the priorities you set, the execution of your
plans, timely decision making, and consistent monitoring of your business
that will allow you to Stay On Course.
Listen to your customers
needs. Listen to
what the consumer is saying. Listen to your management team. Listen to the
people who are able
to see the forest through the trees
. Then you can
make a decision.
Take a look at our generals and admirals, who gather as much
information as possible, then build the infrastructure necessary to be
superior to the enemy (in your case, the competition).
As I have stated in many previous articles: Today you must
deliver three things consistently:
The professionals at Stonefield Josephson have over 100 years
of experience in the textile/apparel industry helping clients to Stay On