I've lived through some tough business cycles: 1984, 1987, 1997, 2001-2004, and now 2008. 2009 is looking like it will be a very tumultuous year - and may exceed anything I've seen before.
But I am very optimistic.
Here's why: Just like we saw in the dot.com boom-bust cycle - too much money has been flowing into the wrong hands and was grossly mis-managed.
We are where we are today because of Wall Street greed & malfeasance, Mortgages that were handed out like candy to children (nonsense like interest-only, adjustable rate), Credit Cards (given out like candy to children), and Real Estate (that was treated like a casino). What we are seeing in the news, the U.S. and world economies, and the global financial markets is simply the hubris, dross, and underbrush being burned away.
What will remain will be weakened - but what will thrive afterward will be stronger and more sustainable.
Companies and organizations will have to do more with less. They will have to do it faster (and better!) to stay competitive in this increasingly globally competitive marketplace. Poorly designed IT systems will kill or cripple companies that do not invest in improving their infrastructure. Poorly designed processes will be a crucial competitive dis-advantage. The false sense of comfort that many organizations have lived with - accepting sub-optimal performance from business units (and trading partners) - will no longer be par for the course.
Growth will prevail, value will prevail, waste will not.
Now is the time to sharpen your tools for increasing sales, for adding value.
Here are some recommendations to help you prepare:
Persuasive Business Proposals: Writing to Win More Customers, Clients, and Contracts
The One-Page Proposal: How to Get Your Business Pitch onto One Persuasive Page
Powerful Proposals: How to Give Your Business the Winning Edge
Handbook For Writing Proposals
Request for Proposal: A Guide to Effective RFP Development
Writing Winning Business Proposals: Your Guide to Landing the Client, Making the Sale and Persuading the Boss
Guerrilla Marketing for Consultants: Breakthrough Tactics for Winning Profitable Clients
Federal Contracting Made Easy, 3rd Edition
Successful Proposal Strategies for Small Businesses 4th edition
Writing Killer Sales Proposals
Million Dollar Consulting: The Professional's Guide to Growing a Practice
Million Dollar Consulting (TM) Toolkit: Step-By-Step Guidance, Checklists, Templates and Samples from "The Million Dollar Consultant"
Process Consulting: How to Launch, Implement, and Conclude Successful Consulting Projects
The Ultimate Consultant: Powerful Techniques for the Successful Practitioner
How to Acquire Clients: Powerful Techniques for the Successful Practitioner
The Consultant's Toolkit: High-Impact Questionnaires, Activities and How-to Guides for Diagnosing and Solving Client Problems
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