It’s Time for Small Business Owners to Create an Agenda… Georgia’s Economy Isn’t Going to Turn Soon

Written by Gene Wright. Posted in News

In a recent forecast prepared by UGA’s Terry College of Business, Dean Robert Sumichrast said slow growth remains the mantra in 2012. “Our forecast is for more of what we have seen the past couple of years,” he said. “We might see continued slow growth or, technically, we might see patches of recession. Either way, unemployment will remain high.”

While the United States has been on the plus side of job creation since 2009, Georgia has only managed to slow its rate of job loss. “In 2009, we lost about a quarter-million jobs,” he said. “That decreased to 50,000 in 2010, and we estimate that Georgia will lose another 25,000 jobs in 2011.”

According to the Selig Center forecast, Georgia’s jobless expansion should finally turn the corner into job growth in 2012. Net employment in the state is projected to increase by 18,000 jobs. “That small uptick will be the first annual gain in employment since 2007.” Sumichrast said. “But that is only five percent of the total jobs Georgia lost due to the recession. That won’t help Georgia’s unemployment rate improve much. It will average just over 10 percent in 2012.”

Business owners who have survived the last few years feel like survivors on the TV show “Lost”. Bloodied but unbowed survivalists in a world somehow had gone wrong. But relief may not be on the way….at least not yet. “Lost” survivors know that business is about execution, and a new agenda is required to take advantage of the space weaker competitors left in the the last decade. They realize they are now doing business in the aftermath of a historically significant period of immense challenge.

Michael Hammer, noted author and the originator of the idea of re-engineering, proposed nine powerful ideas in 2001 for business owners to ponder that seem more relevant to me today than when they were first introduced.

  1. Make your company “easy to do business with”,
  2. Add more value for your customers,
  3. Obsess about your processes,
  4. Turn creative work into process work,
  5. Use measurement for improvement, not accounting,
  6. Loosen up your organizational structure’
  7. Focus on your final customer,
  8. Knock down outer walls by collaborating more,
  9. Integrate virtually, not vertically.

It’s well known that the best ideas in the world aren’t worth much without effective implementation. The survivors of “Lost” realize a “silver bullet” in terms of a better economy that lifts all boats isn’t likely to occur in the near term. It’s time for a new aggressive agenda to win in today’s environment.

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