How optimistic are YOU about business growth?

The recession has ended. It has been announced by economists, proved by statistics and lauded by politicians. But do you believe it? For each of us, our reality is our own experience. Is your business doing well? Are you optimistic about your growth prospects?

According to Bloomberg, US CEO’s are the most optimistic they have been since 2006. The participants in the survey forecast economic expansion. Eighty percent expect to see growth in sales in the next 6 months while 45% said they are hiring. Would you count yourself or your company among one of these?

That is great news if you have a strong plan in place, have made productivity improvements, and are profitable. In the last two years I have worked with a number of companies that aren’t in a great position to emerge from the recession as strong as they were before. Why? The world has chanaged and businesses need to look closely at themselves to see if they need to re-tool or re-invent parts of their business or their entire business model.

Another study, conducted by Onpoint Consulting, evaluated the strength of companies plans for the future. They determined that of 400 companies, half reported a gap between their ability to formulate a plan and execute it. Worse, 64% of those who saw a gap did not have faith their company could successfully address it. Are you one of these companies?

Anticipating growth due to positive economic conditions is wonderful. Being able to capitalize on it is something else again. No matter where you look, what industry you are in, you see that things have changed; the way business is done is forever different. Are you prepared to handle that change? Are you reviewing your plan to ensure it is both optimistic, and realistic? Have you done a good job of aligning resources to the plan? Communicating it with the company? Developing oversight tools and establishing accountability?

In previous posts, including the recent Who is your worst enemy?, I shared my experience that our own habits and fears become the single largest inhibitor to growth. We are most likely to continue doing what we always have, only harder or faster or with more people. If it wasn’t working great before, those changes won’t help. If it was working great before, there is no guarantee it will continue to with the degree of change we have recently experienced in customers’ attitudes, buying habits and the rapidity of technological change. The key to future success is not recreating the past.

Now is the time to step up, step out and make a difference. You deserve to be optimistic about your business–so put the plan in place that reflects the current customer and competitive situation, provides you lots of room to grow, resource it properly, communicate it effectively and finally, inspire others to accomplish it. If that sounds easy, go for it! If it doesn’t, there are many professionals that can help you put your ideas into action, including us. It is time to get going and get optimistic.

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