Naturally, when I sit down to write I try to think of a title for each entry that has ‘headline’ appeal. The headline causes you to want to read the rest of the article, but the headline needs to be related to the information being presented. So allow me to explain myself, before people start knocking on my door wanting me to invest in the next big thing.
What do I have in common with Elon Musk and Mark Cuban? Is it billions of dollars? No, not yet any way.
What I, you, and everyone else has in common with the two of the richest men in the world is simple. Everyone has the same amount of time each day. Elon and Mark’s days are no longer than yours or mine.
So, here we find ourselves trying to shake off the effects of the worst economy since the Great Depression, and a new year is ahead of us. What do we do?
I recently took a call from a business development person who was attempting to network. He mentioned how slow things are on his end as they were finishing four projects with nothing new on the horizon. I took a call yesterday from a regional subcontractor who recently lost their major client and was in a pinch. I met with a building product manufacturer this week and he wanted to know what his sales staff should be doing that they aren’t.
If you have read my blog before, you will know that I am a big believer in (1) everyone in a company is in sales and (2) never stop looking for new ways to do things better, smarter and faster.
One of the biggest ‘ah-ha’ moments of my career was about 15 years ago when all the upper level managers were taking a time-management course. This was even before Palms, PDA’s and Blackberry’s. The course came with large leather, three-ring binder, expensive charts and forms which I thought was completely ridiculous. But in our office, it was almost a ‘Star Belly Sneetches’ kind of thing (for the Dr. Suess fans amongst us).
Finally, I caved, took the course and received my own huge binder. However, this time, I once again, ‘tasted the sushi’ and loved it. What I learned in that course was, and still is, one of the best investments I have made…even though I did not have to pay for it. Time is money, spend it wisely.
If you find yourself with extra time on your hands, invest your time in opportunities which will continue to pay off when the economy recovers. Take a look at online courses; create your own leads group; attend a lecture on marketing; go have coffee with the business development person of a non-competitor.
Have a brain-storming session with your staff; get organized; do some early ‘spring cleaning’; review your business plan if you have one, and get one if you don’t; create an action plan; review your collateral material; update your case study inserts; ask someone to critique your website; hold a contest so see how many ideas you can come up with to save money and give the winner a dinner at your favorite special occasion restaurant, a gift card or just good old cash.
The thing is, do something so that in a year from now, you will be glad you started today.
Ask yourself this, what is the number one thing your company needs right now? Whatever that is…start doing it and don’t stop until it is done.
At the end of the day, Elon Musk, Mark Cuban, you and I will all go to sleep after having the opportunity to decide on how to invest the same amount of time presented to us each day. Finances aside, what separates each of us is what we do with that time.
Bobby Darnell is the founder and Principal of Construction Market Consultants, Inc. An Atlanta based management consulting group specializing in business development, sales, marketing and profitability as well as executive placement for the Architectural, Engineering and Construction industry.
Bobby can be reached at bobbydarnell [at] cmconl.com