You might think that I am going crazy. The economic world is rather unstable right now. Who in his right mind would turn his attention to expanding and looking for other opportunities instead of focusing on the problems at hand? Well, let me tell you, in these hard times, there will always be opportunities for those who are alert to them. And you never know, these opportunities may very well be the answer to some of the problems that you face in your small business.
As a matter of fact, other business experts are thinking along the same lines. I recently read an article by Jared Lauber and Joe Orlando of Frank, Rimerman Consulting. It was thought provoking and encouraging at the same time. The conclusion really struck home:
The key to any decision-making process, especially in the assessment of risk, is a continuous and thoughtful assessment of available information. Every business owner must develop a fundamental understanding of the facts surrounding their business. Business owners need to know as much as they can about themselves and the world in which they compete. Similarly, every individual needs to understand their personal income statement and balance sheet. The better prepared a business owner or individual is to embrace change, understand risk, maintain visibility and seek out opportunity, the more likely they can begin the process of putting comfort back into what has become an uncomfortable world.
This simply means that we may have to look outside of our comfort zones and perhaps find a hidden gem that can make our comfort zones ever wider. Brilliant, donâ€™t you think?
I am sure you know that old saying by heart: the only thing constant in this world is change. With what we have been experiencing in the past year or so, I am also sure that many of you have experienced this saying first hand. Change has been happening all over the world in various sectors, and the business sector has not been exempt from that. Your own business might even have had to undergo some major changes as well.
Talking about change, how is your business when it comes to dealing with change? Are you and everyone involved resilient enough to weather any changes that might happen or are you resistant to the possibility? Let me tell you know, even without an impending change in the horizon, it is always important that you ready yourself, your employees, and your business itself to change. At one point or another, it is bound to happen. And when it does, you will only really benefit if you are ready for it.
How do you prepare yourself, your employees, and your business itself for change?
Take a close look at your company culture. Perhaps you are of the traditional kind. Perhaps the culture that has been ingrained in your business is resistant to change. If so, it is time to do something about that. Talk about change on a regular basis. Talk about it in meetings. Talk about it over coffee. The idea is to help your employees open their mind to change and for them to be able to see it as a positive thing.
Hereâ€™s to change!
Medium sized businesses have a relatively high budget for gas. This is especially true if the nature of your business requires that your employees travel. Sales, marketing, and other similar activities will require that you move from point A to point B on a regular basis. One way to lessen your gas expense would be to find a supplier that will provide gas for your fleet at a good deal. But what if you are not getting the best deal out of that supplier? How can you save more on gas?
Make sure you have a concrete contract.
Verbal arrangements may work for some but you will always be better off with a contract in black and white. This will protect you when gas prices fluctuate. The important thing is that you get a deal in writing, a deal which will make both parties happy.
Do your homework.
Before signing that contract, make sure that you are not being made to pay more than you should. Look around for other gas suppliers that have similar services to businesses. Compare their rates and ask around for discounts and deals. Get the best deal and sign a contract with that supplier.
Do it yourself.
There is no need to pay someone to do the research for you or to broker the deal for you. While it may save you a little bit of time and effort, it will cost you a considerable amount of money â€“ money that you can use for some other profitable activity. As such, set aside time and do the work yourself and save yourself some money!