Time to Take Stock of Your Business - By John Hendrie

Everyone says we are out of the recessionary weeds, the economic doldrums, the trough of despair. I shall let you be the judge of that.

LRA Worldwide Everyone says we are out of the recessionary weeds, the economic doldrums, the trough of despair. I shall let you be the judge of that. Certainly, indicators are flush with happy projections – the Dow Jones is up, unemployment is slipping down ever so slightly, there is a masked civility in Congress, the boys on Wall Street enjoying bonuses (exactly what do they do for the good of society?), the “Talking Heads” continue to vociferously climb over each other and this is the weekend for Super Bowl CMMII (and, perhaps a lock-out for next season). Everything is just dandy, and the Middle East continues to percolate.

Depending upon your take of the economy, there must be a collective sigh of relief out there, the worst is probably over, and now we have a chance to “rebuild” our Brands. You cannot just languish with this feeling of relief, it is time to construct and move forward. You have some history, some benchmarks and some aspirations with which to work . Most important is the connection with what you were, what you are now and what you want to be in the future.

The past presented your Brand to the marketplace, however that looked. You may wish to replicate that presentation, change it or try to forget. The current picture is very real, as you are in a recovery mode, now looking out from those bunkers to the light of a newer day. You survived, even barely, but the Brand took a beating. But, the future is at hand and what shall that look like?

The future presents you with some current challenges. As always, whatever you do is wrapped around product, service and facility. What does the operation look like? Probably, any preventive maintenance, renovation or capital expenditure was placed on hold. So, the facility looks pretty weathered (a mild description). Most likely, not much effort was put into the product either. And, the service aspect, how well you delivered, has to be very tired and beaten up. For you and your management team you do not have an open slate, but certainly you do have a fresh piece of paper in front of you to craft and define your future. Do understand, though, you are exhausted, as well, and probably way too close to the operation to be as objective as you want. It is the old trees and forest argument.

For that fresh, vigorous restart you need some outside eyes to help you chart the journey. An in-depth Operational Assessment will give you that honest appraisal of where you are – the good and the bad (the ugly everyone knows). This is the first step, and you build from here, strategically and cost consciously. This process brings all the parties together, a common thread, effort and goal. Your Customers, Patrons and Guests deserve nothing less. Your Fans loved you once. Bring them back into the fold.

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