Glass Half Full

Some reasons why right now is a good time to be in business.

February 2009

Every business right now is looking at the current economic situation and trying to figure out how it’s going to be affected and what the future might hold. There’s no doubt that businesses are facing challenges, but lean, smart companies are still going to succeed. Here are some reasons why it’s good to be in business right now:

It’s a good time to be in business if you’ve taken the time to get to know your customers—if you have systems in place that let you target customers with exactly the products and services they need, no more and no less. It’s even better if you’ve been able to create the kind of relationships that make it clear that you’re in sync with your customers—that you understand their issues. Checking in with your most-valued customers is critical right now. You want to drive your customer strategy with real, up-to-date information.

It’s a good time to be in business if you’ve already put in place a system for listening to customers and integrating that feedback into your product or service development. That means you’ve got customers who are invested in what you sell and who are more likely to understand your value proposition out of the gate.

It’s a good time to be in business if you have loyal, smart, and hard-working employees—they’re less likely to leave you for your competitors, and more likely to want to work to see you succeed.

It’s a good time to be in business if you can—or already have—put in place best practices that provide clarity around all your data, from your customers, financial systems, supply chain, and more. It’s not a good time to have multiple versions of the truth and a lack of visibility into your business—you’ll waste time, money, and opportunities.

It’s a good time to be in business if you’ve already started thinking about sustainability—but not just because it’s the right thing to do for society. It’s also about saving money and eliminating waste. Identifying the right green technologies and processes for your company can make the difference between profit and loss.

In this issue of Profit, we’ve included stories that will hopefully give you some ideas about changes you may want to consider making in your own business to stay ahead of your competitors and keep your footing, even on uncertain terrain. I hope you find these stories valuable—we’ll be working to bring you the best information we can find in the issues to come, and I welcome any comments you may have.


Margaret Terry Lindquist is editor in chief of Profit magazine.


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