Where Are You Making Investments Right Now?
During the midst of the recession, most Vistage members were quite conservative in their spending and rightly so. They were advised by certain Vistage speakers to use the hard times as an opportunity to take business from their competitors and make investments in marketing, advertising and superior sales staff.
In my experience, even those members that did invest in taking market share from competitors were extremely cautious about any expenditure that increased overhead or that otherwise was not directly billable to customers. In many cases that meant that the owner or CEO dropped back from being solely an executive to being part of the senior sales or management team. Unfortunately that often meant that the ship was moving ahead with a weak hand on the tiller. On the upside, that fiscal conservatism also meant that while sales were slumping, margins remained steady or, in some cases actually climbed.
Although opinion is mixed on the strength and durability of the current recovery, few argue that we are indeed seeing a recovery. Many of my members are seeing some of their highest sales and profit months in years and some are now making a leap of faith and adding to their office, operations or management staff and trying to wrestle time to once again fulfill the true CEO role.
Do you have enough faith in the recovery, and is business returning to levels where you are once again willing to add overhead staff?