Now you might be confused by thinking this is a reference to a well-known Meatloaf song dating back to the 70’s (“he can’t be that old” I hear you cry) but no, I am of course referring back here to my predictions made earlier this year in my January Blog.
On the general subject of confidence and optimism, and how important these are as we kicked off a New Year, I made reference to my own desires for 2012 for a record medal haul from our Olympians, and a Premiership football campaign for Southampton (and also a European Championship success for England……hmmm….maybe not quite so good, although somehow we have risen to 3rd in the FIFA World Rankings off the back of it!!)
On economic issues, I also made the point that, despite all the negative factors being bounced continually around by the Press, there were some signs of good news to bear in mind as we took on the challenges of 2012:
• Inflation was targeted to continue to fall, and this has certainly been the case, with a 2.4% level recorded for the half year stage (compared to a figure as high as 5.2% back in September 2011).
• Also as predicted, this was likely to make it easier for the Bank of England to then increase its quantitative easing policy, pumping a further £50bn into the economy during 2012.
• Despite official statistics indicating a significant contraction in the economy during the second quarter of 2012, early economic data on the third quarter gives some hope that the UK can pull itself out of recession fairly quickly.
Needless to say, I am not for a second here being blind to the negatives out there, and indeed fully recognise the significant threats that exist like sleeping dragons at the moment in the stagnate world economy, the US election effect on this, and most notably of all, the continued uncertainty surrounding major European countries in the Eurozone.
Whilst recognising the importance for caution here (and stressing the importance of contingency planning accordingly), it is nevertheless a simple fact that a focus on maximising growth, investment in future development, and most importantly, creating a general air of optimism and confidence continues to be the best way of coming out of the current difficulties ahead of the competition.
I look after a wide number of businesses across a variety of industries, and it always fills me with a sense of awe at just how resilient and resourceful many of those owners/directors can be in coping with everything the economic climate throws at them, and bouncing back with a positive attitude, ready for the challenge ahead.
In many cases, it is not the fact that they are sat back waiting for one major thing to happen in the future at some point in time that will magically turn things around, but instead they are working on every single aspect of the business, looking for a series of small improvements from a number of angles that cumulatively can make a difference : • Can doing something even slightly different with our product offering help?
• Can we use resources traditionally allocated for other purposes in a new or refreshing way?
• Have we reviewed any spare capacity to see if it can be utilised in a different way?
• Have we considered what new and innovative marketing techniques could be applied?
• How can we create a feeling of positivity across the business, and to the outside world?
These are just some of the thought-processes many business owners are now applying with an open-mind, to positively tackle the future.
Reverting to those wise words of that Meatloaf track, “looking for a ruby in a mountain of rocks” is a tough way to map out a positive future for the business, but new and innovative thinking to how you break down the rocks may just achieve the result you were after.