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Regardless of whether or not you believe the recession is over, there’s no doubt that the economic hammer created a new mindset—and a new way of doing business. The shocking swiftness with which the recession hit and the depths it reached taught businesses that "wait and see" is no longer an option. In the future, the driver of trends is the realization that companies must be able and willing to act swiftly and decisively to address a business environment that can change with dizzying speed. Entrepreneurs must now focus on:
1. A return to financial health. Develop a renewed focus on the basics, including managing debt levels, strengthening the balance sheet, and rethinking/revising the business model.
2. A new focus on customer service. The best business practice is making your customers happy and loyal. That’s ultimately what leads to growth and profits. And the recession taught all of us that putting customers first can pay huge dividends.
3. Reevaluate the workforce. Renewed attention to customers’ needs is forcing companies to take a long overdue look at their own workforces. Investing in people is more than skills training; it’s demonstrating you value these skills. The most successful companies will be those that effectively communicate goals from the C-suite to the newest hourly hire. Take care of the people who take care of your business.
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Want to improve the way you run your business? Entrepreneurs, academics, and consultants from diverse industries offer practical advice on a variety of topics each business day.
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