An article on Entrepreneur.com “ In This Economy, Everything’s (Re)Negotiable ” got me thinking about how hard it is to make changes in a business. Aside from contracts and other commitments, it’s difficult to retrench because it means redefining how you think about yourself and success. Running a business is hard work because you have to be able to adapt to the market with the necessary steps to keep your business healthy–especially when the economy goes limp. Times like this can be a great opportunity to realize that renegotiating contracts and cutting costs are NOT signs of weakness and failure.
The real success stories are the people who recognize that the time to make change is BEFORE you need to. They have the internal strength to roll up their sleeves and do what it takes to keep their business alive and well. This means not getting hung up on the size of your office, the view out of your window, or the kind of car you drive. If you start to internalize the external trapping of success, you won’t be able to adjust when it’s the right thing to do. What does success mean to you? Success to me means keeping our business running so we can take care of your family and so employees can take care of theirs. If you can put your goals in that context, renegotiating price contracts and leases become badges of honor, indications of business acumen and the ability to make good decisions.
Being proactive will not only strengthen your business structure but will also enhance your sense of control in uncertain times. While the financial benefits will accrue over time, the psychological benefits will be felt immediately in terms of confidence, security, and optimism–not just yours, but your employees and your customers.