I launched my company in 2005, three years prior to the stock market crash of 2008. So, the business was still in the formative stages when I was forced to focus all my efforts on keeping it alive in the face of daunting market conditions. I had begun the business knowing that neither snappy techniques nor technology magic would be keys to success. And none were available to help me survive the ‘Death Valley’ recession that followed. Securing business required adherence to the unassailable basics of how to turn around suffering events and launch new ones in tough conditions. Gimmicks would not get the job done.
An article by Tom Peters, an expert on the best practices of business management and excellence, provided the guidance that helped me thrive during those turbulent times. Here are the key elements of how to succeed in times of adversity – with several of my own thoughts mixed in:
1. You must get on the phone (or better yet, visit) with your key customers and make sure that they like what you are doing and will continue to buy.
2. You must work harder.
3. You must dig deep, deeper, deepest – and always bring a good attitude to work.
4. You need to take care of your physical, mental, and emotional state.
5. You must simplify. Complexity can stymie your chances for success. Simplification leads to focus and focus drives effort.
6. You must sweat the details as you’ve never done before. like you never have done before.
7. You do your homework about how to a) make the buy-sell connection, b) create what your customers want, and c) make money doing it.
8. You don’t care about what the competition is doing. You focus on the best product you can deliver.
If your philosophy and actions about sustaining an event are wrong, nothing is going to save you when times are tough. But if your plan is well thought out, the above list may help you fulfill your event’s potential.